SACRAMENTO -- A state panel on Wednesday approved a 5% pay raise for Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators and other state elected officials, restoring the salary level they received before it was cut during last year’s budget problems.
The California Citizens Compensation Commission also agreed to increase the state’s contribution to the health benefits of state elected officials by 10%, restoring half of the amount cut in 2009.
The panel’s action boosts the salary of Brown from $165,288 to $173,987 in December, and increases legislators’ pay from $90,520 to $95,291 at the same time. Raises will also be provided to the state attorney general, state treasurer and other constitutional officers.
During the last four years, the commission had cut the pay of 132 elected state officials by 23% in reaction to the recession and its damage to the budget, which resulted in furloughs for rank-and-file state workers.
But commissioners noted Wednesday that the economy has improved, the budget has been balanced with a $1 billion reserve fund, and Brown has offered a 4.5% pay raise phased in over two years to the largest state employee union.
“The governor has done a fantastic job of getting the tax initiative passed and the economic climate, while not completely restored, is on the right trajectory,” said Commissioner Wilma Wallace. “And I believe that it is important to acknowledge that the Legislature has stepped up and that they deserve to have the 5% reinstated,”
The vote on the pay raise was 5-1, with Commissioner John Stites opposing the increase.
Stites said the economy has improved but that the state’s financial status is fragile.
“Now is not the time for a raise,” Stites said.