Ceremony now; substance later

The Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee that will oversee the spending of the $3 billion California voters allocated for regenerative medicine research took its first baby steps toward implementing Proposition 71 last week, stumbling over the state's "sunshine" statutes and questions about its actual independence and the rigor of its oversight.

Legal wrangling over procedural issues marred the committee's opening meeting. The day before the ICOC convened, state officials wiped most of the topics off the agenda because the meeting as originally conceived was in violation of California's open access public meetings law.

The agenda was to have

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