Cost of protecting state officials down, but up for lt. governor
California taxpayers are paying less to protect most elected state officials, including the governor, since Jerry Brown replaced Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the cost has gone up to safeguard the lieutenant governor.
The state spent $93,379 through May in the just-completed fiscal year on CHP protection for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took office at the start of 2011. The amount is up from the $65,954 spent in the previous fiscal year, the first half protecting Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, and the second half protecting Newsom.
Newsom’s office declined comment on the expense, including whether a CHP officer accompanies Newsom to the taping of his weekly hour-long talk show, the "The Gavin Newsom Show," on Current TV.
"For security reasons we do not comment on the lieutenant governor's protective detail at the request of the CHP," said Deirdre Hussey, a spokeswoman for the lieutenant governor. She did say the office goes with whatever level of security staffing is recommended by the CHP.
The CHP does not break out the cost for protecting the governor, citing security precautions, but it is included in its Protective Services Division Budget, which also includes some security for the Capitol building. Eleven months into last fiscal year, the division had spent $27.5 million, which means it was on track to spend less than the $33.9 million paid out in the fiscal year that began July 1, 2010, when Schwarzenegger was in office.
Other elected state officials and the amounts spent on their protection through May include; Controller John Chiang, $178,109; Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, $141,932; and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, $85,949.
— Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses a California Democratic Party gathering. The cost of providing CHP protective services to the lieutenant governor has gone up. Credit: Tony Avelar / AP.