The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 29, 2013
California lawmakers OK more cash to process business filings

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The state Assembly has sent a bill to Gov. Jerry Brown that would give $1.6 million from the current year's budget to Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office.

The money would be dedicated to paying overtime and temporary help tasked with reducing what has become in some cases a two-month backlog of business filings stacked up at the secretary's headquarters in Sacramento.

The original Assembly bill gave Bowen $2 million, but Bowen later said she didn't need that much money between May 1 and the June 30 fiscal-year end. The Senate amended the bill by reducing the sum by $400,000. The Assembly vote today accepted that change.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup declined to comment on whether the governor would sign the measure. Lawmakers have said they'll appropriate up to $8 million more in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 budgets to reduce filing wait times to between five days and 10 days and then maintain that standard. After that, the paper-based system is supposed to go automated.

Some Republicans opposed AB 113 as a violation of Proposition 25, the constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2010. The ballot measure lowered the number of votes need to pass a budget from two-thirds in each chamber to a majority and requires state legislators to forfeit their pay when they fail to pass a budget by the constitutional June 15 deadline .

Republicans such as Sen. Bill Emmerson and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly argued that majority-vote budget changes aren't permissible under Proposition 25 unless lawmakers forfeit their pay.

Few in the Assembly Republican caucus cared enough to oppose the bill. The lower chamber sent it to Brown on the strength of a 60-5 vote.

PHOTO CREDIT: Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee 2010 file.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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