To hear members of the panel that sets California lawmaker salaries tell it, this may be the last year of the traditional across-the-board decision to either boost or cut the paychecks of top officials.
The unanimous 4-0 vote of the California Citizens Compensation Commission to raise the salary of Gov. Jerry Brown and top state officials came on Monday after a robust discussion about separating the executive branch's pay rates from those of the Legislature.
"My opinion is that some of the state officers deserve a little bit higher raise than the Assembly and the Senate," said Commissioner Anthony Burkett.
Nonetheless, the panel gave all state lawmakers -- from the governor to the attorney general and down to rank-and-file legislators -- a 3 percent annual increase, beginning in December. The commission also rescinded a 10 percent cut in health, dental and vision benefits to top officials imposed during the recession; those rates will now be equal to the benefits paid for managerial state employees.
Gov. Brown's annual salary will rise to $182,791 a year, while legislators will see base pay rise to $100,112 a year (more for legislative leaders). The panel also set new, higher salaries for lieutenant governor, attorney general, controller, treasurer, secretary of state, insurance commissioner, superintendent of public instruction and leadership positions in the Legislature.