A bill to put restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Georgia won’t see the light of day this session, the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee said this morning.
“I’m not going to do anything with that this session in the House,” said state Rep. Amos Amerson (R-Dahlonega). “We’ve gotten 500 e-mails and faxes on it, roughly 50-50. We had to shut off the fax machine — they were using all the toner. I figure anything with that much controversy needs a little more study.”
Amerson also mentioned a May convention of 20,000 biotech experts in Atlanta, which has been eyed by state officials as a chance to recruit cutting-edge industries. “I don’t want to put anything up that might be a stumbling block for economic development,” he said.
S.B. 169 passed the Senate after harsh debate last month. Originally intended to put restrictions on clinics that provide invitro fertilization treatments, the measure currently prohibits one form of embryonic stem cell research known as therapeutic cloning.
Amerson has one of the most interesting biographies in the state Capitol. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, his last assignment involved coordinating underground nuclear testing with Pentagon, CIA, and the White House. Amerson has a degree in nuclear, a master’s degree in quantitative methods, and a PhD in economic statistics.
That’s a background hefty enough to make it likely that most House members will defer to his judgment.
Now, on to this morning’s ajc.com:
On the 38th day, take a look at other measures in the Legislature that are up against a tough deadline. Lottery officials worry the 16-year-old game may be topping out. Metro Atlanta tax assessors say a flood of requests for reassessments could have profound implications throughout the state. Georgia nears a tougher line on illegal workers. Schools ponder how best to use federal stimulus money. Possible cuts to Medicaid payments are called ‘devastating’ by doctors and hospitals. More than six years after his defeat signaled the death of Democratic dominance, former Gov. Roy Barnes appears primed for a comeback. Georgia lawmakers embrace social networking media.
Jay Bookman on tax-cut madness in the state Legislature. Marie-Pierre Py on how the public defender system fails Georgians and their lawyers.
Elsewhere in Georgia:
And the nation:
NYT: Navy secretary nominee drew notice over his divorce. Politico: President Obama has concluded that neither GM nor Chrysler as they now exist deserve more bailouts. WSJ: U.S. sees Fiat pact as Chrysler’s best hope. WP: Kenneth Woodward on why Notre Dame should welcome Obama.
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