updated 6/4/2004 2:50:35 PM ET 2004-06-04T18:50:35

A proposal to provide $3 billion for stem-cell research qualified for the November ballot after a campaign by scientists and high-profile patient advocates like moviemaker Jerry Zucker.

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If passed, the measure would provide $295 million to researchers each year for 10 years, far exceeding the $60 million awarded by the federal government in 2002.

The program also would fund laboratory cloning projects intended to create stem cells for medical use while specifically banning funding of cloning programs designed to create babies.

Proponents have raised about $5.3 million and collected 1 million signatures for the bond proposition, which was certified Wednesday by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.

Human embryonic stem cells appear in the first days after conception and help create tissues throughout the body. Scientists hope to study them to develop treatments for ailments from diabetes to paralysis.

Many social conservatives oppose the proposition because days-old embryos are destroyed during stem-cell research, but an opposition campaign has yet to file state paperwork.

Bond supporters include Zucker, who directed 1990’s “Ghost,” and Nobel laureates Paul Berg, J. Michael Bishop and David Baltimore, as well as patient-advocacy groups, parents of sick children and venture capitalists.

The measure was also endorsed Thursday by state Treasurer Phil Angelides and Controller Steve Westly.

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