December 05, 2014

Most all legislators accept pay raise

Eleven state lawmakers declined 5 percent bump a year ago

By Chris Nichols | The San Diego Union-Tribune

It's no longer fashionable to decline a pay raise in the California Legislature.

Just one state lawmaker, Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, had declined the 2 percent salary increase that kicked in for the Legislature's nearly 120 lawmakers this week, as of late Thursday, according to the State Controller's Office.

Roth spokesman Shrujal Joseph said the lawmaker believes he should accept the pay that came with the job when he was elected in 2012, as that's what voters signed on for.

Last year, 11 lawmakers statewide declined the 5.3 percent raise available to them. Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, and Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Carlsbad, were among them. They cited the state's economy, which was still struggling.

Wyland was termed out of the Legislature last month. Chavez had not indicated to the controller's office as of late this week that he would decline this year's increase. He did not respond to requests for comment from the U-T this week.

The pay raise was approved in June by the California Citizens Compensation Commission, an independent panel set up by voters.

The increase this week lifted salaries for rank-and-file legislators to $97, 197, up from $95,291.

Lawmakers in leadership posts are paid more.

The compensation panel cut legislators pay 18 percent in 2009 during the state's budget crisis.


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