More than three years ago, the same issue was raised and used by the agency to resist unwanted changes.
Kevin McCormack, agency spokesman, said today that James Harrison of Remcho Johansen & Purcell of San Leandro will perform the analysis. Harrison has been counsel to the CIRM board since its inception. He also wrote part of Proposition 71, which created the stem cell agency in 2004.
Harrison's analysis was disclosed after CIRM Director Sherry Lansing, who is also chairwoman of the University of California Board of Regents, said this morning that the board's "hands are tied" concerning some of the IOM proposals because they could require a vote of the people. Other members of the board bristled at the IOM recommendations.
In 2009, Harrison tackled a similar task in connection with related, proposed structural changes at the $3 billion stem cell research effort. In reaction to proposals by the Little Hoover Commission, the state's good government agency, Harrison said,
“The Little Hoover Commission’s proposals would effect drastic and disruptive changes to CIRM’s governance and operating systems. Such changes run counter to the voters’ intent, and do not further Proposition 71’s purposes.”The California Stem Cell Report wrote at the time,
"The 10-page legal memo hung most of its arguments on a provision in Prop. 71 that states that it can only be amended by the legislature if the changes 'enhance the ability of the institute to further the purposes of the grant and loan programs.'The Little Hoover proposals dealt with the structure of the board and the conflicting responsibilities of the president and the chairman. The IOM has recommended major changes in both areas and approvingly cited the Hoover study .
"Harrison's memo said the Hoover proposals (in question) could only be enacted through another ballot measure...."
Harrison's analysis will also delineate which IOM recommendations can be implemented by board action and which will require legislative approval.