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Raises for state workers could affect decision on governor's pay

June 18, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Gov. Jerry Brown, joined by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), left, and Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), discusses the budget compromise reached last week. All three could be in for pay raises, depending on what a citizens panel decides Wednesday.
Gov. Jerry Brown, joined by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

Gov. Jerry Brown’s new offer of a 4.5% pay raise to the largest state employee union could affect the decision of a citizens panel that meets Wednesday to decide whether to give salary increases to the governor and legislators.

It could be a factor in the discussions, according to Thomas Dalzell, chairman of the California Citizens Compensation Commission. “I wanted to see what happens to other state employees,” Dalzell said Tuesday.

Last week, Brown announced a tentative agreement with California's largest state worker union, SEIU Local 1000, providing a possible 2% raise July 1, 2014, if the state reaches certain financial goals, and a 2.5% raise a year later.

In the last four years, the Citizens Compensation Commission cited pay cuts and furloughs for other rank-and-file state workers as the reason it slashed the salaries of the governor and lawmakers by 23%, putting Brown’s annual pay at $165,288. This year, the state has more than $1 billion in a reserve fund.

Dalzell and other commissioners said before California's fiscal 2013-14 budget was approved last week that they might hold the line on pay for elected officials. On Tuesday, he said he wanted to hear what the other commissioners thought before making a deicison, but added, “The data screams out for at least a restoration” of the 23% of their pay cut from elected officials’ salaries.

The data include a commission survey indicating the governor’s salary in 2012 was lower than the pay of six other states’ governors. The commission found that the $90,500 base salary of California lawmakers is the highest in the country, but officials for the Senate and Assembly say other states provide more stipends for committee assignments and pensions that are not available to California legislators.

The commission meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. at the Historic Sacramento City Hall, 915 I Street.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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