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BB NEW MEMBERS 169.JPGNow for the money: The California Assembly has set salary ranges for a handful of new job classifications it created this month.

Dozens of aides potentially could receive pay increases if chosen for the new posts. The 80-member Assembly currently employs about 1,200 people for Capitol and district offices, policy committees, administration, security and other functions, records show.

Administrator Jon Waldie said the purpose of increasing the number of job classifications was to create promotional opportunities for existing personnel, not to expand hiring.

The changes came in the wake of voters' decision to alter California's legislative term limits, which now allow Assembly members to serve up to 12 years in the lower house, rather than six.

Anticipating that less frequent turnover of legislators will resort in more stable office staffs and fewer vacancies, the Assembly created two new positions and basically two step increases, with expanded duties, for existing office posts.

In Assembly policy committees, the only new job classification is deputy chief consultant, with a monthly salary from $6,784 to $9,539. The job is a promotion from principal consultant, with pay from $6,148 to $8,479 per month.

The top of the salary range for both positions -- deputy chief consultant and principal consultant -- jumps considerably once the employee hits six years of experience and again after 12 years of service.

In Assembly members' personal offices, the new position of legislative director 1 was created, with the possibility of promotion to legislative director 2. The former has a salary range of $3,612 to $7,229 per month, the latter pays from $4,696 to $7,971 per month.

Last year, duties similar to that of a legislative director were handled either by a legislative assistant, $3,010 to $6,572 monthly, or by a senior assistant, $3,901 to $7,971 monthly.

The new post of scheduler/legislative assistant was created, with the possibility of promotion to scheduler/senior assistant. Monthly pay for the former is $3,311 to $5,795 and for the latter, $3,901 to $7,971. Each office can have only one scheduler, regardless of title.

Last year, the duties of scheduler often were handled by a secretary, $2,279 to $4,346 per month, or by a legislative assistant, $3,010 to $6,572 per month.

The Assembly approved the new position of principal field representative, a promotion from senior field representative. The two have monthly salary ranges of $4,601-$7,971 and $3,901-$7,971, respectively.

Waldie said that it is not yet known how many employees will be promoted to the new posts. Decisions will be based partly on years of service and partly on whether legislators have funding available in their office budget to bankroll a change, he said.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Assembly Chambers in November 2008. Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee file photo.



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