This week's Assembly budget subcommittee hearing into backlogged filings at Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office touched on whether the secretary has asked lawmakers for more money. Her office runs on fees it collects, but the money has to be allocated by the Legislature. Last year Bowen collected $75 million and lawmakers returned about $50 million. The balance going to the general fund.
Severe backlogs in fiscal 2011-12 prompted Assembly Speaker John A. PÃ©rez to transfer $1.2 million from the lower chamber's budget to the secretary of state. He gave Bowen the money specifically to work down business filing backlogs that in some instances had reached 80 days or more. Filing wait times currently run about six weeks.
Here's Bowen's July 2012 letter to PÃ©rez, accounting for how the department spent the money and predicting that her office would get filing delays below 32 calendar days. Bowen spokeswoman Shannan Velayas provided the letter to The State Worker.
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ILLUSTRATION CREDIT: Gabi Campanario / Seattle Times 2007