A move by the California Senate to impose a pay freeze on itself after handing out hundreds of pay raises to legislative employees this year is drawing harsh criticism from critics.
According to a report in the Sacramento Bee
, Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg said the one-year freeze beginning in August is another step in a series of budget-cutting moves to help the state recover from the economic downturn.
But some called it a minimal effort to wring savings out of the budget, especially when compared to the 5 percent pay cut that 12,000 state employees are facing through a monthly furlough day.
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, called the freeze a “posturing” effort aimed ultimately at trying to attract more voter support for a tax increase in November.
“To announce a pay freeze after all the raises have been given is like closing the vault door after the bank has been robbed,” Coupal said. “I think the public is already so cynical and angry that there’s not enough lipstick in the world to make this pig look good.”
There are no plans at present by the California Assembly to impose a similar freeze, the Bee reported.
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