The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 14, 2013
From the notebook: Read Debra Bowen's letter to John A. Pérez

NOTEBOOK_use_this.jpgThis 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. Pérez 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 Pérez, 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.

We can never get everything we learn into a news story. "From the notebook" posts give you some of the extra details behind the news.

Bowen letter to Pérez

ILLUSTRATION CREDIT: Gabi Campanario / Seattle Times 2007

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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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