Legislature approves Bell scandal reforms
California lawmakers have passed wide-ranging public-compensation reforms inspired by the Bell municipal salary scandal.Among the Bell-related reforms lawmakers approved Tuesday were AB 900 by Assemblyman Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), which would offer $2.9 million in property tax refunds to overcharged city residents, and a ban on automatic pay raises that exceed the cost-of-living index built into the contracts of local government officials.
Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), author of AB 827, said such automatic increases led to the "obscene" escalation in compensation for Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, who wound up making nearly $800,000 a year to administer the small working-class city in southeast Los Angeles County.
Lawmakers also passed a measure that would put an end to so-called pension spiking, the practice by public employees who accrue years' worth of sick time and vacation until the last year of their tenure so it boosts the pay used to calculate their pensions. State investigators are looking into the practice in Bell.Read the full story here.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento.
Photo: Protests outside Bell City Hall. Credit: Los Angeles Times