Reporting from Sacramento — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a law that makes it harder for city council members in California to improperly pad their paychecks, a response to the financial scandal that rocked the city of Bell.
In recent years, some officials in the working-class Los Angeles suburb earned more than $100,000 annually for part-time jobs by receiving stipends for serving on various boards and commissions that sometimes met for just minutes at a time, often during council meetings.
On Monday, Brown signed AB 23, which requires city officials to announce, when holding simultaneous or back-to-back meetings, how much those attending will receive in stipends.
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita), the legislation's sponsor, said it addresses situations in which lawmakers receive one stipend for attending council meetings and additional payment for simultaneously serving on planning commissions, library boards, redevelopment panels and public financing authorities.