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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Against a backdrop of deep fiscal distress, several California lawmakers rewarded their employees with pay hikes during the first half of the year, an Associated Press review of legislative pay records showed.
At least 87 California Assembly staff members received raises totaling more than $430,000 on an annualized basis, even as the state faced a growing budget deficit that led to furloughs and pay cuts for many other government workers and steep reductions in core services.
In the 40-member Senate, nine staffers had a boost in pay, leading to an annualized increase of $152,000.
In the Assembly, 39 employees received pay increases of 10 percent or more. Of those, 15 saw increases of 20 percent or more.
Five Assembly staffers and two Senate staffers who already made $100,000 a year or more saw their pay rise.
Both houses of the Legislature refused the AP's request to make the payroll records available electronically. Details of their spending are not listed in the annual budget the governor signs, as they are for other state agencies and departments, meaning there is no way to cross-check the information the Legislature provides.
At the same time the Legislature was awarding pay increases, some 200,000 state government employees had been furloughed two days a month, equivalent to a 9 percent pay cut. That has since been increased to three days, or a nearly 15 percent pay cut.
During that period, Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, awarded a total of $41,000 in annualized pay increases to her staff, the highest total increase for any member of the Legislature.
That included 20 percent pay boosts for three of her employees and a 15 percent increase for her chief of staff, Lucy Krohn, bringing her annual wage to $110,640
"There may be a few exceptions, but just generally they have to be thinking more about PR than thinking about their staff," he said. "Of course, it's an infinitesimal amount of money in the big picture, but it's the symbol of it. It doesn't matter what they've cut."
I wonder how many of those who got pay raises are actually related to the lawmakers.
Here is a list of California lawmakers who increased pay for their staff members between January and June. Explanations are included where lawmakers chose to comment.
Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego
_ Five employees whose cumulative monthly pay rose from $22,065 to $25,478. One employee was promoted from legislative assistant to senior field representative.
Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa
_ Five employees whose cumulative monthly pay rose from $20,124 to $22,401.
Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael
_ Three staffers whose cumulative monthly pay increased from $25,507 to $26,782.
Sergeant-at-Arms (Capitol Security)
_ Twelve employees whose cumulative monthly pay rose from $43,956 to $46,740. One employee's duties changed to working for the Rules Committee, which also oversees the Sergeant-at-Arms office.
California still can not balance the state budget is handing out IOU's which is theft...
Like I said...I heard California sits on a ledge in the Ocean, and could fall in.