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California's Assembly is a house of haves and have-nots.

Members of the 80-person house have disparate sums to spend for Capitol and district office staff that can vary by hundreds of thousands of dollars, records show. Democrats not only dominate the Assembly, they dominate its spending as well.

While Assembly officials say each member receives a base budget of $263,000 annually, that sum is misleading because it typically is augmented by committee, caucus or leadership funds.

By analyzing committee rosters, Assembly staff rosters and expenditure records, The Bee has been able to approximate the total funds received by each lawmaker for personal staff during an eight-month period ending July 31. The Assembly has balked at releasing member budgets that would specify how much each lawmaker has to spend.

For the first eight months of the legislative year, totals ranged from a high of about $608,000 for Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, to a low of about $65,000 for Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, a Roseville Republican who took office in May after a special election.

Go to the jump to see a member-by-member comparison:

Click here to view the spreadsheet in a new window.


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