A proposal that would allow the University of Minnesota to spend state money on stem cell research narrowly passed the House on Wednesday.
The vote was 71-62, with 69 Democrats and two Republicans supporting the bill and 16 Democrats and 46 Republicans opposing it. A similar bill passed the Senate last year.
Differences between the two versions would have to be reconciled before the proposal could go to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has called for stricter limits on research involving human embryos.
An amendment that would have limited state aid to studies on stem cells derived without destroying embryos failed on a 65-69 vote.
"Nothing in this bill allows the destruction of a human embryo destined for life," said Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, the chief House author. "For people who have ethical concerns, you have to have public funding. That's the only way you get public oversight."
Under the bill, an oversight committee would review all stem cell research by the university.
Both embryonic and adult stem cells could be studied. Embryonic cells would come from stored embryos that were donated by consenting owners.
MIKE KASZUBA, ASSOCIATED PRESS