Free Money For All
Staff for both Democrats and Republicans in the
Assembly get pay increases.
As the California economy continued its recovery and state revenue grew last year, the Assembly awarded about $1.2 million in raises to a quarter of its full-time employees, including some of its highest-paid staffers, salary records show.
Senate raises were few and far between in 2013. But the payroll for both houses is up about 3 percent from mid-2011, when California was still early in its climb out of the Great Recession reports the Sacramento Bee.
As of Jan. 31, the Assembly had 1,181 non-hourly employees and a payroll of $71.4 million annually, an increase of about 2.5 percent over May 2011, according to legislative records. The Senate’s Jan. 31 payroll was $67.5 million for 992 employees, a 5 percent increase from its July 2011 payroll.
Assembly officials said the 2013 raises, most of which range from 4 to 6 percent, were given to employees who had not received raises in recent years. They reflected efforts to prevent the loss of talented employees for better-paying jobs in other branches of government or the private sector, officials said.
“You have to, at some point, look at a staff-retention issue,” said Jon Waldie, the Assembly’s chief administrative officer. “We’re trying to be competitive without being fiscally irresponsible.”
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said he was not particularly sympathetic to such concerns.
“Welcome to the private sector. In the private sector people are just happy to hang on to their jobs,” Coupal said, adding of legislative jobs: “It’s a good gig if you can get it.”
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