THE SEEDS OF public funding for stem cell research in Illinois were planted in the early to mid-2000s. However, attempts in Illinois in 2004 to pass legislation publicly funding stem cell research were unsuccessful, and the measure died in the Illinois Senate. In 2005 Illinois's next attempt at funding stem cell research did not even get called to a vote. In fact, Illinois's first successful policy to support stem cell research did not come from the state legislature at all.

In July 2005 the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI) was founded by an executive order from Governor Rod Blagojevich. His order set up the IRMI as a program under the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). This made Illinois the first state in the Midwest and ...

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