CA lawmakers get pay boost… Why?

June 20, 2013

By Katy Grimes

Fat Cat politician

The California Citizens Compensation Commission just voted to boost the salaries of Gov. Jerry  Brown and the state legislators.

What a great move! With the lowest aproval ratings for California lawmakers in state history, why not reward them?

Add in the dismal unemployment rate of 9 percent, higher than the national average of 7.5 percent, and a negative net worth for the state, and everything’s coming up roses… if you are a lawmaker. The rest of us are paying for it.

“California again trumped other states with a $617 billion debt,”  State Budget Solution reported in August. “California’s debt is more than twice the size of New York’s state debt, and New York has the second largest total debt burden in the nation.”

Unfunded public pension liabilities make up more than half of all state debt, according to State Budget Solutions. The pension liabilities of the total debt represent the $2.8 trillion owed to public pension systems “as a result of years of skipped payments, borrowed funds, and inaccurate discount rate assumptions.

California ran a $1.7 billion spending deficit last year, has an accumulated deficit of $23 billion, the state’s long-term debt obligations are about $167.9 billion, and unfunded pension liability of more than half a trillion dollars.

And lawmakers got a raise.

The justification?

The Compensation Commission made several pay cuts to lawmakers totaling a little more than 22 percent over several years, commensurate with the decreasing state revenues due to the recession. Apparently guilt is setting in.

“‘Our governor is paid less than the city managers of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento,’ said Thomas Dalzell, chairman of the California Citizens Compensation Commission during Wednesday’s debate,” News 10 reported.

Brown’s salary will increase from $165,288 to $173,987, and legislators’ pay will increase from $90,520 to $95,291. Legislators also receive a per diem of $141.86 per day plus mileage tied to federal rate, totaling about $30,000 annually in tax-free expense payments for being in session in Sacramento.

“Six governors, including those in Pennsylvania and Michigan, were paid more last year in annual salary than California Gov. Jerry Brown, but his state’s Legislature receives the highest base pay in the nation, according to a survey released Monday by a state panel, the Los Angeles Times reported in March.

Boo hoo. Many of us remember the important concept of a citizen Legislature made up of people with private sector jobs. The move to professional politicians and professional fundraisers is what has gotten California in this mess.

5 comments

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  1. Dan
    Dan 21 June, 2013, 06:13

    Rumor has it that the Governor Brown has transferred the money from Cap and Trade to the general Budget. So now he is sending like drunken sailor.

    Reply this comment
  2. Hondo
    Hondo 21 June, 2013, 08:45

    Just when I thought there was no more money left to steal……
    Hondo…

    Reply this comment
  3. Red
    Red 21 June, 2013, 09:39

    speechless… the idiocracy knows no end.

    Reply this comment
  4. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 21 June, 2013, 11:18

    The Citizens’ Commission to determine pay rates was elected by the people–they are representing you and me. So would you rather go back to having the Legislator’s set their own pay. Nobody gets their own way, completely. Quit your group-whine!

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 21 June, 2013, 18:31

    Get what you can….doomers to dumb to be government workers or have rap sheets to the moon!

    Reply this comment

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