Prop 14: Stem Cell Research

Prop 14 supports approving $5.5 billion in bonds to continue stem cell research.

Watch “Prop 14 in a Minute: Stem Cell Research” to understand what a yes or no vote on this proposition means. ​Click on the Settings button for Spanish subtitles. 

For a quick look at all the props, here’s a printable guide in English and in Spanish.

What?

Issues $5.5 billion in bonds for a state stem cell research institute.

Why?

A state medical research institute created by a 2004 proposition is running out of money.

Vote Yes

Supports authorizing the state to borrow $5.5 billion by issuing general obligation bonds to fund the stem cell research institute.

Vote No

Opposes authorizing the state to borrow $5.5 billion by issuing general obligation bonds to fund the stem cell research institute.


The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was created in 2004 when voters approved Proposition 71 to issue $3 billion in bonds. Robert Klein, a Silicon Valley housing developer, financed the initiative after opponents of embryonic stem cell research won a ban on federal funding. Klein became chairman of the institute, and he has contributed more than $4.5 million to the Prop. 14 campaign to sustain state funding of stem cell research. The institute announced in July 2019 that it was running out of money and was mostly unable to fund new projects.

Religious groups and scientists are divided on the ethics of harvesting stem cells from embryos or aborted fetuses. Because stem cells have not yet developed into specific types of cells, they hold enormous potential for curing or treating diseases or regenerating damaged tissue. People who believe life begins at conception strongly oppose research involving embryos. Others question the wisdom of the state committing so much more money to an effort that has so far produced only experimental treatments.

Prop. 14 proponents say California benefits by taking the lead in stem cell research through job creation, economic activity, and access to promising clinical trials of new treatments. The lengthy ballot measure specifies expanded oversight and limits on how and where the money can be spent.

Get Ready to Vote

Nov. 3 may feel far away now, but don’t forget to take the necessary steps to make sure you get to cast your vote! Here are some key details to remember:

  • Register to vote online by or have your mail-in registration postmarked by Oct. 19. If you somehow miss the deadline, all is not lost. You can still conditionally register up to Election Day itself. Not sure what your registration status is? Find out here.
  • Because of COVID-19, California is mailing all active registered voters mail-in ballots this year, so you don’t need to request one.
  • Mailed ballots should be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received by your county’s elections office no later than Nov. 20. Scared your ballot is going to get lost in the mail? Don’t fret, the California Secretary of State has a ballot tracking tool so you can get notified of the status of your vote-by-mail ballot via email, text or call. Sign up here.
  • If you want to deliver your ballot in person on Election day, make sure you do so by the time the polls close on Nov. 3.