This paper examines the contextual factors shaping legislative debates affecting stem cell research in two states, Kansas and Massachusetts, which both permit therapeutic cloning for stem cell research but markedly vary in their legislative approach to the issue. In Kansas, restrictive legislation was proposed but effectively blocked by research proponents, while in Massachusetts permissive legislation was successfully implemented under the auspices of an act to promote stem cell research. The importance of university and industry involvement is highlighted in each case, as are the roles of enterprising and persistent policy entrepreneurs. Providing a close examination of the policy process attending the cloning debate in these states is intended to contribute to an enhanced understanding of the cloning-policy process as it has played out at the state level, with an eye toward informing legislative debates over related biotechnical advances in the future.
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Vol. 28 • No. 1