Panel to consider whether to give raises to governor, lawmakers

California Gov. Jerry Brown is among the officials who could get another pay raise this year.
(Nick Ut / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- Three months after Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers received a 5% pay raise, a state panel is set to meet next week to begin considering whether to provide further increases, and the chairman of the group says data from counties indicates California elected officials are underpaid.

The State Citizens Compensation Commission, which is appointed by the governor, meets March 13 at Sacramento City Hall to begin the process of setting salaries for the governor, other statewide constitutional officers and state legislators.

Chairman Thomas Dalzell predicted a decision on whether to give raises will probably be put off until May while it considers survey data showing what county officials are paid for comparison.

“That data has historically shown that local officials are paid much higher than state officials,” Dalzell said. “Whether that supports a raise, it then becomes a policy decision.”

The latest survey is not yet public, but one conducted last year showed that the chief executives of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara and Alameda counties all received salaries of more than $300,000.


In comparison, Gov. Brown’s salary is $173,987, the state attorney general makes $151,127 and the base salary for state legislators is $95,291 with raises that took effect in December. However, a survey of other states indicates California lawmakers receive the largest base salary in the country.

Dalzell said he wants to hear what other members of the commission have to say before deciding whether to support a raise.

“I think the data supports it but there are policy considerations,” he said. In the past, the panel has looked at policy issues including whether other state workers received raises or pay cuts and whether the budget was in surplus or facing deficits.


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