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Assembly speaker cancels $551,000 in staff pay raises

April 22, 2009 |  3:27 pm

Assembly Pay Raises

State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has canceled $551,000 in staff pay raises.

She said the raises, reported by The Times on Tuesday, have become a distraction from the campaign she is helping lead to pass six budget-related ballot measures in the May 19 special election.

 “I absolutely don’t want the people who oppose public education and who want to drown government in a bathtub to use this as some sort of club against the responsible, urgently needed ballot initiatives Californians will be voting on,” Bass said at a news conference this afternoon.

The increases were awarded recently to 136 legislative staffers at a time when the state is in financial crisis and tens of thousands of other government employees have seen their salaries cut.

--Times Sacramento Bureau

Full story: Assembly leaders withdraw staffers' pay hikes

Text of Speaker Bass' statement.