The measure, AB 53, would impose a two-year ban on raises of about 785 state employees who make more than $150,000 annually. It is now before Assembly Appropriations Committee after winning unanimous approval from the Assembly Public Employees Committee on April 1.
The logic behind the bill by Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada, is that well-paid state employees should share the pain of budget cuts affecting children, seniors and so forth. The California stem cell agency has a bunch of folks who make more than $150,000 – too many in the eyes of some critics.
However, California lawmakers are politically unable to touch the agency because of Prop. 71, which requires an unprecedented 70 percent, super-majority vote of both houses and the signature of the governor to change state law affecting CIRM.
The significance of the legislation concerning CIRM is that high salaries are a red flag issue for the public even though they may be justified. Check out some of the comments on the story in The Sacramento Bee on the measure.