The Missouri House of Representativesgave overwhelming approval to legislation that would create a life sciences research trust fund. Missy Shelton reports from Jefferson City.
The bill would set aside one-fourth of the proceeds from the tobacco settlement for life sciences research...Human cloning is explicitly excluded.
The proposal would set up a seven-member life sciences research board that would administer the money in the trust fund.
Democratic representative Margaret Donnelly says lawmakers are wise to set aside this money.
Only one lawmaker voted against the bill when it came up for final approval in the House.
Democratic representative Rachel Bringer says earmarking more money will only worsen the state's budget problems.
Even bill supporter Margaret Donnelly acknowledges the bill will make it more difficult to work through the budget in future years.
The chairman of the House budget committee, Carl Bearden points out the money won't be set aside until 2007.
He says by then, the state will be in better shape financially.
In addition to providing grants for life sciences research, the bill would set up life sciences centers in St Louis, Kansas City and Springfield.
Democrat Rachel Bringer says that's another reason she voted against the bill.
The bill now moves to the senate for consideration.
From Jefferson City, I'm Missy Shelton for KSMU News.