Stem Cell Agency OKs Pay Hike, Legal Action on Operating Costs
On Wednesday, the Independent Citizen's Oversight Committee for California's stem cell agency agreed to raise the salaries for the agency's executives and lawyers by 23%, although no current employees will receive pay raises, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Under the new rules, the maximum salary for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's president and chair will be $508,750, while salaries for second-tier executives and the board's vice chairs will reach $332,000. The agency's top two attorneys also will be paid up to $277,500.
Some have criticized the new pay levels because of the state's budget crisis, although the agency's source of funding will not be directly affected by the budget deficit (Downing, Sacramento Bee, 3/13).
Issues over operating expenses with the owners of the San Francisco building where CIRM's headquarters are located are mounting, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) negotiated a 10-year, rent-free deal to win a bid for the agency's headquarters in the city.
CIRM's board on Wednesday voted to authorize legal action against Stockbridge Capital Partners, the owner of the building, to assure that the company would cover about $425,000 in annual costs for electricity, janitors, parking privileges and other expenses.
Newsom has been attempting to solve the problem for over a year, and his spokesperson, Nathan Ballard, said, "We're confident it can be resolved without litigation" (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/13).