On May 5, 2020, the campaign Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments & Cures filed signatures for a ballot initiative to issue $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). CIRM was created in 2004 when voters approved Proposition 71 and funded with $3.00 billion in bond revenue. As of October 2019, CIRM had about $89 million from the original bond remaining. The ballot initiative would provide CIRM with more revenue in order to remain open and continuing to provide grants for stem cell-related research, trials, and programs.
The campaign reported filing about 925,000 signatures. At least 623,212, or around 67 percent, of the signatures need to be valid. The recommended deadline to file signatures to appear on the election on November 3, 2020, was April 21, 2020. Counties need to validate the signatures before June 25, 2020, for the ballot initiative to appear on the ballot in 2020. Otherwise, the ballot initiative would appear on the ballot on November 8, 2022.
Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments & Cures aimed to collect 950,000 signatures but decided to stop in-person signature gathering when the state’s shelter-in-place order was issued on March 19. The campaign raised $6.06 million, as of the most recent campaign finance report on April 3. Robert Klein, a real estate investor based in Palo Alto, is chairperson of the campaign and provided $4.63 million of the campaign’s total funds. Klein is also the chairperson of the organization Americans for Cures and former chairperson of the campaign behind Proposition 71 (2004).
The ballot initiative is the 10th to file signatures to appear on the ballot for November 3, 2020. As of May 6, five had qualified and five were pending signature verification. The California State Legislature also has until June 25, 2020, to refer measures to the general election ballot.