The money would pay for staff overtime and temporary help to handle the 122,000 or so documents -- most with filing-fee checks attached -- that are in a processing queue that averages six weeks. Other states take far less time, but they exploit online automation. California's system still uses paper and index cards.
After The Bee reported the delays, Assembly Speaker John A. PÃ©rez said his chamber would move quickly to release more money for Bowen to hire and pay overtime and has encouraged the Senate to move just as expeditiously once the measure moves there.
PÃ©rez also wants lawmakers to give Bowen an extra $8.9 million in 2013-14 to hire business filing staff with the goal of reducing the backlog to 5 business days by November. The secretary would then maintain that standard until a new computer system comes online in 2016.
Correction, 3:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the number of business documents awaiting action by the secretary of state's office.
PHOTO CREDIT: John A. PÃ©rez during an Assembly floor discussion in 2010. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee