Calif. AG's staff could see pay frozen

By Chris Rizo | Apr 3, 2009

Anthony Portantino (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-Lawyers in Attorney General Jerry Brown's office could have their pay frozen if one Southern California lawmaker has his way.

State Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, has introduced a bill that would freeze the pay of state employees making more than $150,000 a year.

The proposal, outlined in Assembly Bill 53, would impose a two-year salary cap on about 785 state employees. The bill would extend to the highest paid workers in the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

The legislation provides the governor room to carve out exceptions for state employees who are involved in public safety. The plan would not affect University of California workers since the U.C. regents have independent control over their employees.

Portantino said he introduced the bill after reading news accounts of the University of California and California State University systems offering large pay raises even amid the Golden State's financial crisis.

"At a time when we are asking our seniors, our students, and our poor to bear the budget burden year after year, the least we can do is ask those state employees who are most well-off to forgo any salary increases until the state's ongoing fiscal crisis ends," Portantino said.

The bill cleared its first legislative hurdle this week, passing the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee. It now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

If signed into law by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the bill would take effect next January.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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