President Bush signed into law on Tuesday the NASA Flexibility Act of 2004 (S.610). The bill gives NASA new power to attract and retain employees, including paying bonuses and establishing high salaries for a handful of positions deemed critical by the agency. The law also allows NASA to establish a scholarship program for college students; the students would, in turn, go to work at NASA for a period of time after graduation.
The bill, passed by Congress late last month, was relatively non-controversial, with bipartisan support in both houses. However, a few people have expressed some criticism of the legislation, saying it wasn’t really needed: this article by A.J. Mackenzie from The Space Review last June summarizes those arguments.