CA Senate Announces Plan to Freeze Pay -- After Awarding Raises
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg announced plans Wednesday for a one-year pay freeze for Senate employees, but the move comes in the wake of a recent pay hike for hundreds of the chamber's aides.
The proposed Senate pay freeze also comes as most state workers are taking a nearly 5 percent pay cut as part of budget cuts designed to save the cash-starved state government billions of dollars.
Steinberg plans to ask the Senate Rules Committee to approve the pay freeze at its next meeting Aug. 1, said Rhys Williams, Steinberg spokesman. The action would take effect immediately. The freeze would not affect pay raises tied to promotions.
Assembly administrator Jon Waldie said that his chamber has no plans to announce a pay freeze, but it will continue to respond to California's budget crisis by trimming and transferring 15 percent of its budget to other state agencies. This year, $22 million will be sent, Waldie said.
The Senate was not alone in awarding merit increases to legislative employees this year. The Assembly has done so, too, with hundreds of employees seeing salary hikes ranging from 3.6 percent to 5 percent. Employees were eligible if they had not received a raise in three years.
The total number of Assembly aides who saw their pay rise in the past year was not immediately available Wednesday.
Steinberg, in a prepared statement, said the Senate is doing its part to keep legislative costs down.
"I'm grateful to Senate ...