The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 20, 2008
Column extra: Legislators who didn't take pay raise, per diem hike

Jim Silva.jpgTed Gaines.jpg

With just 400 to 450 words for our Thursday State Worker column, much of what we learn in the ramp up to writing it never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes and the observations that don't make the cut.

In trolling for background on State Legislature pay and per diem this week, we reached out to veteran reporter Jim Sanders of The Bee's Cap Bureau. Jim graciously shared information he recently received from the State Controller's Office:

As of Monday, the Controller had 26 legislators on its list of senators and assemblymembers who refused a 2.75 percent pay hike last December that was approved by an independent citizens commission. The bump added roughly $3,110 to legislators' pay, bringing it to the current $116,208 per year.

Click here to see that list.

Per diem is a different animal. As Jim noted in this Capital Alert post last month, the state Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board recently added $3 to per diem, raising it to $173 retroactive to Oct. 1.

State law requires the three-member board to set per diem no lower than the rate paid to federal employees traveling to Sacramento, currently $173.

Several local lawmakers have refused per diem, since they live close to the Capitol.

The SCO says that it has two letters on file declining the per diem increase: Asssemblyman Jim Silva, R-Huntington Beach, and Roseville Republican Assemblyman Ted Gaines.

To see Silva's letter declining the per diem increase, click here. You can read Gaines' letter by clicking here.

IMAGES: Assemblyman Ted Gaines, left, and Assemblyman Jim Silva;

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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