The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 4, 2008
Billwatch: State may freeze pay for workers making more than $150K

081204 Portantino2.jpgFrom today's San Diego Union-Tribune:

Fed up with large pay raises for executives of California's public universities, the chairman of the Assembly's higher-education committee (Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena) introduced legislation yesterday that would freeze salaries of state employees who make more than $150,000 a year.

The measure specifically includes executives and other high-paid officials at the California State University system. It urges the University of California system - which enjoys constitutional autonomy - to impose the same restraints ...

While the proposed pay freeze was inspired by perceived excesses at UC and CSU, the Legislature itself has drawn criticism for giving generous raises to staff members despite the state's chronic budget troubles. Accordingly, Portantino said he considered it important to apply the legislation to as many highly paid state employees as possible.

As such, the freeze would extend to nearly all state agencies, state courts and appointees to boards and commissions.

It would bar until Jan. 1, 2012, any raises, bonuses or overtime pay for anyone making more than $150,000 a year while still employed in the same position or classification.

The bill would not apply to those covered by collective-bargaining agreements or who work at state prisons, which are subject to oversight by a federal receiver. The governor also could exclude anyone he deems necessary to protect public safety.

Portantino said he did not know how many employees would be affected or how much might be saved.

This link will take you to the U-T story. Click here to read the language of Portanino's bill, AB 53.

IMAGE: Anthony Portantino / Sacramento Bee

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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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