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Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
June 20, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown, California lawmakers and other elected officials will be getting a two percent raise this year.

Pointing to California’s firmer fiscal footing, a panel that sets salaries for elected officials on Friday voted 4-1 to enact a pay boost. The raise will add $1,906 to lawmakers’ annual $95,291 salary, giving them a yearly pay of $97,197. The raise for Gov. Jerry Brown, who makes $173,987, will be $3,480, taking him to $177,467 a year. The raises take effect Dec. 1

Years of yawning budget deficits have given way to a surplus, allowing California to pass an on-time budget this year with minimal friction. Those sunnier circumstances framed the debate among members of the California Citizens Compensation Commission.

“It would be hard to argue, I believe, that the state is not better off financially today than it was a few years ago,” said commissioner Scott Somers. “If they get tarred when times are tough,” he added in reference to elected officials, “they ought to at least get some credit when things are improving.”

California lawmakers are the best-compensated of any state legislators. They lead the field even though their pay was cut twice during the recession, reductions that the pay commission partially reversed last year with a five percent boost. The next-largest paychecks go to legislators in Pennsylvania, who made $83,801 in 2013.

Despite earning more than their counterparts in other states, Sacramento lawmakers earn less than city and county officials in California. Members of the Los Angeles and San Francisco city councils both draw larger paychecks than state legislators, as do county supervisors in 16 separate counties.

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