December 7, 2013
Re "Do lawmakers deserve a raise?," Editorial, Dec. 4 It's important to note that the legislature is the most democratically responsive of all the branches of state government. It is, in theory at least, the people's representative body in the state's representative democracy. Nonetheless, in California, we've reduced the salaries of these elected officials by about $25,000 since 2007. We've also limited their terms in office, with politicians often making a game of musical chairs out of office-holding, going from one post to the next, always learning on the job, while typically focusing on self-serving and short-term goals.
June 21, 2011 |
California lawmakers must forfeit their pay as of mid-June because the budget they passed last week -- which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed less than 24 hours later -– was not balanced, the state controller said Tuesday. Since last week, Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, has been pondering whether to pay lawmakers. They passed budget legislation on June 15, meeting their constitutional deadline for only the second time in a quarter-century, but their plan relied heavily on accounting schemes to paper over the state's deficit. In his veto message, Brown said he could not sign such a plan.
May 6, 2011 |
Two Montana state legislators have filed suit in federal court against author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson, demanding that donations and proceeds from his book "Three Cups of Tea" be seized by the courts and placed in a trust for construction of schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The petition to certify a nationwide class action against Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute is the latest fallout from allegations that his best-selling book contained significant misrepresentations of how Mortenson came to launch his school-building charity, and from revelations suggesting that proceeds from the book went to Mortenson, not the charity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2000
How The Times assumes that the people of California are willing to pay state legislators, rookies or veterans, $99,000 per year is beyond comprehension ("Legislators Take Stock of Rookie Year," Jan. 19). The people had no say in this matter. A commission sets legislators' pay, which over the last decade has risen from $49,000 per year to the nearly six-figure sum at present. It would be no stretch to say that if it were up to the voters and taxpayers of this state, these lawmakers would be making far less than what they're getting now. Considering the deteriorating state of the state, a sizable rollback of legislators' pay would be appropriate.
July 13, 2011 |
In late January, the Indiana House of Representatives adopted a resolution asking Congress to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions, declaring that "EPA over-regulation is driving jobs and industry out of America. " Almost identical resolutions have won at least partial approval in a dozen other states, from Virginia to Michigan to Wyoming. And it's no coincidence that the language of these resolutions is similar, describing EPA's plans to curb air pollution as a "train wreck" that will harm the economy.
April 27, 2012
Re "53 cents per mile drives criticism," April 21 I was outraged to learn that lawmakers are paying themselves to drive their own cars. Although our legislators probably won't pass laws hindering their own behavior, the solution is very simple: The Times should print details, like stats in a sports page, on the spending habits of every lawmaker so we can see the leaders in each category. When it's published in black and white (and highlighted with a red border), voters can see which of their elected officials are slackers and which ones are actually doing the job we pay them to do. Since Colonial days, the most effective method for curbing extravagance has been public humiliation.