Sunday, July 11, 2010

Klein Defends Burgeoning CIRM Budget

The San Francisco Examiner today published a couple of stories focusing on how the $3 billion California stem cell agency is immune to the budget pressures that face the rest of the financially troubled state.

Katie Worth wrote,

“...(N)ary a paper cut has injured the budget of the state-funded California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“In fact, last month, the 5-year-old agency’s largest operating budget ever was approved. Its out-of-state travel budget will more than double this year. Later this year, agency leaders hope to receive a legislative OK to expand the staff beyond the voter-mandated limit of 50 employees. The agency just hired a new vice president on a part-time basis: He will work about 24 hours a week for six months, and be paid $250,000.

“The agency chairman (Robert Klein) said all of these expenditures are justified because the research the agency has funded is well on its way to saving lives. In fact, he said once the current unbroken flow of cash begins to slow, the agency will be able to make a strong case to voters that they should fund even more research.”

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