The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 18, 2013
Assembly to vote on more money for Secretary of State staffing

130312_Perez_2010_amezcua.JPGThe Assembly will vote today on a measure that would give $2 million to Secretary of State Debra Bowen to quickly work down a backlog of business filings literally stacked up at her offices.

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. Pérez 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.

Pérez 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. Pérez during an Assembly floor discussion in 2010. Hector Amezcua / 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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