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Blagojevich releases $5 million more for stem cell research

By AP/KWMU

Chicago, Ill. – The state of Illinois is making $5 million more available for stem cell research for seven projects at public universities.

The money is coming from the state's current budget through the use of an Executive Order from Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It's a way the governor has used before to get around the General Assembly, which has rejected such money in the past.

The two biggest grants were $1.1 million each. One went to a researcher at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, the other to a scientist at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

The move drew criticism from Blagojevich's opponent in this fall's race for governor, Republican Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka.

Topinka also supports public money for stem cell research but says the governor is wrong to not first seek lawmaker approval for the money.

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