So California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the executive other eliminating about 22,000 temporary, part-time and contract workers and imposing a hiring freeze because of the state budget impasse. The order cuts salaries for nearly 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour. All of this because today marks the 31st day with no budget for the State and we have a $15 billion deficit.
I still say that instead of trying to save money on the backs of State workers, why not freeze the pay for the 80 Assemblymembers, 40 Senators, and the rest of the executive branch of publicly elected officials?
Between the state workers and our state elected officials, I’d say the electeds could stand to go a few weeks or months without their pay or a cut in their pay more than the workers. I could possibly swallow the gov’s proposed cuts better if I knew the electeds were included in those cuts too.
The salaries of California lawmakers and top elected officials have been frozen for the next year as part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s efforts to cut the state’s budget 10% across the board and to help fix the state deficit. However, this isn’t expected to take place until December.
So why isn’t the gov waiting until December to cut the pay for State workers?
A look at the salaries of some of the lawmakers as they stand currently and it’s clear who makes more between the electeds and the state workers.
Leaders of Assembly and State Senate make an average of $133,639 annually.
Second-ranking Democratic and Republican members of each house make on average $124,923.
All other legislators make an estimated $116,208.
But they also get nearly 35k a year in per diem pay for “living expenses.”
Some state employees don’t even make 35k a year, and every dollar they make is for “living expenses.”
Let’s not overlook the governor’s $212,179 salary, which to be fair, he doesn’t accept. Well, that money should also be diverted to help ease the budget crunch as well.
It seems to me that the governor needs to spread the love around and also cut the pay for the electeds whose salaries we, the taxpayers, foot the bill for.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
I’m just saying.
Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) today issued the following response to the Governor’s decision to withhold the pay of 200,000 state employees until a budget is signed:
“I’m disappointed with the Governor’s decision. It is an unwise and unfortunate move to cause economic strife to public servants and their families who are working hard and playing by the rules. We are not going to let this decision get in the way of our mission which is to deliver a budget that reflects the values of Californians. We are continuing to make progress and I remain hopeful we will have a budget on his desk in the next few days.”
Below are two website addresses for relevant budget information:
Budget Website for California Democratic Caucus – http://adc.asm.ca.gov/issues/budget/
Website of Speaker Karen Bass – www.asm.ca.gov/bass