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Blagojevich orders $10 million spent on stem cell research

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Gov. Rod Blagojevich (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By AP/KWMU

Chicago, Ill. – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed an executive order on Tuesday, directing $10 million in state money to be spent on stem cell research.

The grants will be given to medical research facilities. The cash was included in the state budget as medical research money, but its use wasn't specified until Tuesday's order. The program will be called the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will oversee the program, to be up-and-running by the end of the year.

Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson says he didn't know the budget contained money for stem cell research, adding Blagojevich doesn't have much respect for the legislative process.

Blagojevich says he'd consider it immoral not to act because stem cell research is an important avenue through which some diseases can be cured.

In other news...

Blagojevich also on Tuesday signed into law legislation that makes it illegal to use a television or DVD player in the front seats of a car.

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