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Senate panel backs capping state pay at the governor's salary

April 18, 2012 | 12:43 pm

Under a measure by state Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego), approved by a Senate committee, no new state worker would be paid more than the $173,987 annual salary given to the governorUnder a measure approved Wednesday by a state Senate committee, no new state worker would be paid more than the $173,987 annual salary given to the governor.

Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) said he introduced SB 1368 after learning that more than 8,000 state workers are paid more than the governor, including physicians making more than $700,000 a year and psychiatrists and university presidents who receive more than $500,000.

"The idea that we can't find someone to do the job for lesser pay is absolutely outrageous," Anderson told the Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement. "We can’t afford to continue to squander taxpayers' money."

The measure squeaked by in the committee on a 3-1 vote, with Democrat Juan Vargas of San Diego joining two Republicans in support, but it faces an uphill battle as it moves through two more committees before it can get to a vote on the Senate floor.

Lining up with objections were representatives of the state university and retirement systems, who argued they need flexibility to attract top talent.

"This bill will hinder the ability to hire the best," Andrew Martinez, a spokesman for the California State University system, told the committee.

ALSO:

"Man up" on budget, governor tells lawmakers

Brown tax plan may bring in less than estimated

Jerry Brown says state budget deficit will probably top $10 billion

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: State Sen. Joel Anderson (R-San Diego). Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

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