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Crist to embrace stem cell research

Early edition: Gov. Charlie Crist will unveil plans Wednesday set aside $20-million in his first budget for grants for embryonic stem-cell research.

By STEVE BOUSQUET
Published January 31, 2007


TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Charlie Crist will unveil plans Wednesday set aside $20-million in his first budget for grants for embryonic stem-cell research.

The governor will announce details of his stem-cell initiative at the University of South Florida, part of a week’s worth of budget and tax proposals.

“I’m pro-life,” Crist said at a audience of editors and reporters at the annual Associated Press legislative planning session. “But I’m also pro-improving the quality of life for people.”

Crist called his modest initiative “a start” and acknowledged the likelihood of resistance from social conservatives in the Legislature. He said his program will endorse the use of cord blood in adult stem cells and amniotic fluid in medical research, similar to several other states.

Crist’s support for stem cell research was one area where he distanced himself from the socially conservative wing of the Republican Party.

During the campaign last summer, he said he disagreed with President Bush’s decision to veto a congressional.