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California's Jerry Brown is paid less than six other governors

March 18, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Jerry Brown, governor of California, is paid $173,981 annually.
Jerry Brown, governor of California, is paid $173,981 annually. (Ken James / Bloomberg )

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 survey results will be used by the California Citizens Compensation Commission when it meets Thursday to begin deliberating on whether to grant pay raises to Gov. Brown, lawmakers and other California officials.

There may not be enough votes to change the status quo. "I would be surprised if there are four votes for a reduction or increase this year," Commission Chairman Thomas Dalzell said.

Commissioner John Stites said he wants to review the survey results before deciding whether to grant raises but said Brown’s salary is "very fair."

"Jerry Brown has got plenty of money," said Stites, a retired Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant.

The panel cited the state’s budget problems in slashing salaries for the governor and lawmakers by 23% in the last four years, putting Brown’s annual pay at $165,288.

The survey was for pay in 2012, when he received $173,000.

The panel’s survey of salaries paid in 2012 found that the governor of Pennsylvania is the highest-paid in the nation, receiving $183,255, followed by the governors of New York ($179,000), Illinois and Michigan (both $177,000), and Virginia and New Jersey (both $175,000).

California legislators receive a base salary of $95,291, a larger amount than any other state’s lawmakers, Pennsylvania's legislators get the second-highest base salary, $82,026. Some states, including California,  pay lawmakers more for leadership positions. 

California lawmakers also receive about $30,000 annually in tax-free per diem payments for expenses while attending session in Sacramento.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com


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