Your morning jolt: Committee chairman says embryonic stem cell bill won’t move out of House

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

  • 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.
  • Some opinion:

  • 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:

  • Tondee’s Tavern: An argument for House Minority Leader DuBose Porter to run for speaker.
  • 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.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    7 comments Add your comment


    March 30th, 2009
    12:08 pm

    We are impressed with Chairman Amerson’s resume for many scientific issues, but nothing in life sciences. And besides, this is an ethical issue: do we or do we not use tiny human beings for spare parts?


    March 30th, 2009
    1:27 pm

    Thank goodness– saved from the rambling stupidity of the right for another year–
    lets’s find a more permanent solution and vote these guys out of office– NOW… These guys fiddle while Rome burns… the answer to every problem seems to be a tax cut or better yet some limitation on personal freedoms…

    Aaron Burr V. Mexico

    March 30th, 2009
    1:38 pm

    Morally I am opposed to Abortion. I agree that it cheapens the value of human life.

    Having said that, are you REALLY prepared to defend embyro’s as human beings? Because if you are, you’re essentially saying that any woman who is pregnant, even if she doesn’t know it, could be committing Manslaughter by having a miscarriage.


    March 30th, 2009
    1:49 pm

    well said atlantalefty. also, this issue has absolutly nothing to do with abortion. these embryos have not nor will they ever be implanted.

    [...] we find out that his embryo adoption plan won’t see the light of day. [...]


    March 30th, 2009
    5:33 pm

    “Bad Day,” This is a different bill (SB 169). Mills’ Embryo Adoption (HB 388)is not controversial–just formalizes the process of adopting embryos, and it is optional. People who don’t want the protections of adopting can do it under contract law as it is done now.
    SB 169 stands up to the wide open Obama “policy” of letting scientists have at it doing experiments that kill embryos with our tax money. Doesn’t it cheapen all human beings to allow even tiny ones to be created to be destroyed?


    March 30th, 2009
    6:22 pm

    Perhaps fultonrighty can ‘adopt’ a freezer full…
    ahhh– the absurdity of the farrrr right…
    adopting embryos– perhaps these guys should just stop and listen to their own voices for a minute– they might just realize how really funny they are… personally I believe the ONLY solution is a tax cut for the wealthy– Did I say That?