Jim Sanders
The Sacramento Bee
Published: Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 – 12:11 am

More than 250 Assembly employees received pay hikes this month under the sweeping authorization granted by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez recently for aides whose pay had not risen in three years.

Roughly one of every five employees of the lower house received the merit increase ranging from 3.6 percent to 5 percent, records show.

Of 258 aides whose salaries were sweetened, 24 percent of them are paid less than $50,000; 56 percent are paid between $50,000 and $100,000; and 20 percent have salaries above $100,000, records show.

Forty-three other employees received promotions or assumed new job responsibilities that provided heftier paychecks as well.

The Assembly raises come on the heels of larger salary increases granted by the Senate – averaging 7 percent – to at least 169 employees.

Both houses contend the pay hikes are a small accommodation to valuable employees who have gone years without a wage or cost-of-living increase.

“It’s critically important in difficult budget times to have people with the knowledge and experience to tackle the state’s complicated budget issues,” said Robin Swanson, spokeswoman for Pérez.

The increases cumulatively will cost the Assembly more than $800,000 per year.

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