California has been a pioneer in several aspects of policy on new biotechnologies, most notably with the passage in 2004 of Proposition 71, which established the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and authorized to distribute and oversee $3 billion in public funds to support stem
cell research and build research facilities over ten years.
The CIRM has been closely watched by other states and
countries. It launched two experiments: the first an experiment in
biomedical investigation; the second in its politics and policy. Never
has a state so generously funded an emerging scientific field. And never
has a state been faced with regulating and overseeing a field that
promising medical research with significant social risks.
Before that, the California Advisory Committee on Human Cloning issued a report that led to a state ban on reproductive cloning. In 2003, a state agency blocked the sale of genetically modified fish as pets. In 2006, the state legislature passed a law providing protections for women who may provide eggs for cloning-based stem cell research.