Votetracker

Stem cell research

This issued died in the House when House leaders pulled it from consideration in early May.

Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, is sponsoring a bill that would commit an unspecified amount of money toward state-level research, including on stem cells derived from unused, donated embryos. Past measures have advanced through Senate committees but never received a full floor vote. The House version of the bill is being carried by Rep. Phyllis Kahn

More from MPR:
Bill tests Pawlenty's tailored stance on cell research (02/05/2007)
U of M stem cell researchers disagree with Gov. Pawlenty's position on research (02/07/2007)
Cloning ban built into stem cell research bill (02/27/2007)
Senate votes to permit tax dollars for stem-cell studies (04/25/2007)

SORT VOTES BY: Name | District | Party | Vote
Senate approval
April 25, 2007 (SF100)

The 36-26 vote leaves the Senate short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a threatened veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has called for stricter limits on experiments using human embryos.

Supporters spoke of potential scientific breakthroughs from unhindered research and said a state policy would ensure proper oversight.

"Absent the ability to use the full gamut of stem cells that are available, the research doesn't work," said Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul and the bill's sponsor.

But opponents were equally insistent that research using cells derived from embryos is unproven and oversteps moral boundaries because the embryos typically get destroyed in the process. They argue it boils down to trading one life for another.

Result: Passed

Legislator Party District Vote
Ellen R. Anderson DFL 66 FOR
Thomas M. Bakk DFL 06 FOR
Linda Berglin DFL 61 FOR
Don Betzold DFL 51 FOR
Terri Bonoff DFL 43 FOR
Jim Carlson DFL 39 FOR
Satveer Chaudhary DFL 50 FOR
Tarryl Clark DFL 15 FOR
Richard J. Cohen DFL 64 FOR
Dick Day Republican 26 AGAINST
D. Scott Dibble DFL 60 FOR
Steve Dille Republican 18 AGAINST
John Doll DFL 40 FOR
Sharon Erickson Ropes DFL 31 FOR
Michelle L. Fischbach Republican 14 AGAINST
Leo T. Foley DFL 47 FOR
Dennis R. Frederickson Republican 21 AGAINST
Chris Gerlach Republican 37 AGAINST
David Hann Republican 42 AGAINST
Linda Higgins DFL 58 FOR
Bill Ingebrigtsen Republican 11 AGAINST
Debbie J. Johnson Republican 49 AGAINST
Michael J. Jungbauer Republican 48 AGAINST
Amy Koch Republican 19 AGAINST
Paul E. Koering Republican 12 AGAINST
Gary W. Kubly DFL 20 AGAINST
Keith Langseth DFL 09 FOR
Dan Larson DFL 63 FOR
Ron Latz DFL 44 FOR
Warren Limmer Republican 32 AGAINST
Tony Lourey DFL 08 FOR
Ann Lynch DFL 30 FOR
John Marty DFL 54 FOR
James P. Metzen DFL 39 FOR
Geoff Michel Republican 41 FOR
Mee Moua DFL 67 FOR
Steve Murphy DFL 28 FOR
Thomas M. Neuville Republican 25 AGAINST
Rick Olseen DFL 17 FOR
Gen Olson Republican 33 AGAINST
Mary Olson DFL 4 AGAINST
Julianne E. Ortman Republican 34 AGAINST
Sandra L. Pappas DFL 65 FOR
Pat Pariseau Republican 36 AGAINST
Lawrence J. Pogemiller DFL 59 FOR
Yvonne Prettner Solon DFL 07 FOR
Ann H. Rest DFL 45 FOR
Claire A. Robling Republican 35 AGAINST
Julie A. Rosen Republican 24 AGAINST
Sandy Rummel DFL 53 FOR
Tom Saxhaug DFL 03 FOR
Linda Scheid DFL 46 FOR
David H. Senjem Republican 29 AGAINST
Katie Sieben DFL 57 FOR
Dan Skogen DFL 10 AGAINST
Dan Sparks DFL 27 AGAINST
David J. Tomassoni DFL 05 FOR
Patricia Torres Ray DFL 62 FOR
Ray Vandeveer Republican 52 AGAINST
Jim Vickerman DFL 22 AGAINST
Betsy L. Wergin Republican 16 AGAINST
Charles W. Wiger DFL 55 FOR

More from MPR:
Senate votes to permit tax dollars for stem-cell studies (04/25/2007)

Senate Health, Housing , and Family Security Committee approval
April 13, 2007 (SF1300)

Authored by Sen. Richard Cohen (DFL-St. Paul), establishes a state policy for stem cell research and allows the University of Minnesota to use state-appropriated funds for stem cell research. Cohen said the bill outlines the type of research that may be done, requires informed consent from patients relating to the disposition of any human embryos remaining following fertility treatment. The bill also prohibits the sale of embryonic or cadaveric fetal tissues for research purposes.

Meri Firpo, University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute, said stem cell research is fundamental to understanding human development and to the development for treatments for a variety of diseases.

Fredrik Preston, speaking in opposition, said the destruction of embryos is the destruction of human life and morally wrong. Sharon Soderland, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, also opposed the bill and said that life begins with conception and ends with death. "It is immoral to use embryonic stem cells as biological tissue for research," she said, "I don't believe using embryonic stem cells can be morally justified."

Sen. Betsy Wergin (R-Princeton) said the issue boils down to whether or not a person believes human life begins at conception. She said that researchers seem resistant to using other types of stem cells, which don't require the destruction of life. Cohen said the University is moving forward with other types of stem cell research, but the use of embryonic cells is critical.

The measure was approved and sent to the full Senate on a roll call vote of 9-5. (From Senate Briefly newsletter)

Result: Passed

Legislator Party District Vote
Linda Berglin DFL 61 FOR
John Doll DFL 40 FOR
Sharon Erickson Ropes DFL 31 FOR
Michelle L. Fischbach Republican 14 AGAINST
David Hann Republican 42 AGAINST
Linda Higgins DFL 58 FOR
Debbie J. Johnson Republican 49 AGAINST
Paul E. Koering Republican 12 AGAINST
Tony Lourey DFL 08 FOR
Ann Lynch DFL 30 FOR
John Marty DFL 54 FOR
Yvonne Prettner Solon DFL 07 FOR
Patricia Torres Ray DFL 62 FOR
Betsy L. Wergin Republican 16 AGAINST
House Higher Education and Work Force Development Policy and Finance Division approval
February 27, 2007 (HF34)

Sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls), HF34 would establish a state policy for stem cell research and permit the University of Minnesota to spend state monies on such research. It would also require health care providers treating infertility patients to provide information regarding the disposition of any human embryos after fertility treatment. Opponents said that embryonic stem cell research terminates a human life and others expressed concern that his could ultimately lead to cloning. An amendment put forth by Kahn, and successfully offered by Rep. Tom Rukavina (DFL-Virginia), the committee chairman, said a person who knowingly engages or assists, directly or indirectly, in the cloning of a human being is guilty of a felony.

Result: Passed


More from MPR:
Cloning ban built into stem cell research bill (02/27/2007)

House Biosciences and Emerging Technology Committee approval
February 7, 2007 (HF34)

HF34, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Mpls), would permit state-funded research using various types of human stem cells, including embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, an informed consent provision of the bill would require health care providers to give patients undergoing treatment for infertility the option of donating any remaining embryos for research purposes. The bill also prohibits the sale of fetal tissue. The bill passed the committee without recommendation on a divided voice vote.

Result: Passed