New House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi said in a statement released yesterday that "I support embryonic stem-cell research with proper ethical safeguards," the first time he has addressed the issue since taking the leadership post in September. His predecessor, former House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, had been the biggest factor in blocking such legislation in the past.
The Boston Herald yesterday reported Finneran wants state lawmakers to pass legislation supporting research on embryonic stem cells. In a voice-mail message yesterday Finneran called parts of the report inaccurate and said "the notion that somehow or other Massachusetts . . . now feels obliged to compete with California . . . is premature to say the least."
Finneran and a council spokeswoman didn't return messages left to request a response on the legislative agenda. The spokeswoman previously noted that just two small companies in the state work directly in areas affected by the embryonic stem-cell issues, ViaCell Inc. in Cambridge and Advanced Cell Technology Inc. in Worcester.
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