California Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers will get a 5 percent salary increase now that the state's budget has a surplus and public employees have been offered raises, a state panel decided.
The seven-member California Citizens Compensation Commission voted yesterday to increase Brown's pay to about $173,552 and lawmakers' base salaries to about $95,052. The state treasurer, controller, and other elected officers also will see their pay rise. The panel's decision doesn't need further approval and will take effect in December.
Lawmakers sent Brown, a Democrat, a $96.3 billion general-fund budget June 14 that tempers spending to less than 1 percent above the current year, even though voters in November approved a temporary increase in sales and income taxes. It’s the third time in as many years California will have a budget in place before the fiscal year begins July 1.
Voters in 1990 passed an initiative that created the compensation commission. Appointed by the governor, the panel sets salaries of constitutional officers and members of the legislature.
The commission in 2009 cut the officials’ pay by 18 percent after former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, and the legislature agreed to force state workers to take three unpaid days off each month, equivalent to a 14 percent wage reduction. Schwarzenegger didn’t accept pay while in office.
The panel lowered the salaries by another 5 percent last year. Yesterday's decision restores that cut, though not the 2009 reduction.
Brown reached a deal with the state's largest public-employee union that grants workers a 4.5 percent pay increase, phased in over two years beginning in 2014 if revenue growth continues. If revenue fails to meet a minimum target, the entire pay increase would begin later, in 2015. The union must still ratify the deal.
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