Before stem cell research was on everyone’s minds and before the phrase “regenerative medicine” was familiar to most scientists, The Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999 funded research into treating paralysis. It was a revolutionary piece of legislation, named after my friend Roman Reed, a true hero. Roman was playing college football when he got a spinal cord injury.
Roman and his dad, Don C. Reed, are responsible for much of the progress that has been made in stem cell research for spinal cord injury.
Unfortunately, the Act no longer receives public funding, but we can change that. There is a bill, AB 190, that will be voted on by the Public Safety Committee right here in Sacramento, not too far from my lab, on April 5th. If it passes, a $3 fine will be tacked onto the tickets for reckless drivers (who sometimes cause spinal cord injuries in the first place) to fund the Roman Reed Act. This may mean up to $11 million in funding spinal cord injury research. However, if the committee votes down AB 190, there will be no funding at all.
We need to make this bill pass. Try to come to Sacramento to attend the hearing and voice your opinion in support of AB 190 and the Roman Reed Act. You can learn more about the ACT and about how you can help by reading Don’s article in Huffington Post here.
Also, here’s a summary of the contact info for the 7 committee members (swiped from Don’s article). Please make a difference and if nothing else voice your opinion to the committee chair.
- Tom Ammiano – Chair Dem-13 (916) 319-2013 Assemblymember.Ammiano@asm.ca.gov
- Steve Knight – Vice Chair Rep-36 (916) 319-2036 Assemblymember.Knight@assembly.ca.gov
- Gilbert Cedillo Dem-45 (916) 319-2045 Assemblymember.Cedillo@assembly.ca.gov
- Curt Hagman Rep-60 (916) 319-2060 Assemblymember.Hagman@assembly.ca.gov
- Jerry Hill Dem-19 (916) 319-2019 Assemblymember.Hill@assembly.ca.gov
- Holly J. Mitchell Dem-47 (916) 319-2047 Assemblymember.Mitchell@assembly.ca.gov
- Nancy Skinner Dem-14 (916) 319-2014 Assemblymember.Skinner@assembly.ca.gov