Making Government Accountable

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Andrew M. 'Andy' Ramirez

Frequently Asked Questions

(1) How much do California's Elected Leaders get paid?
The California Governor is paid about $150,000 and the scale drops down to approximately $100,000 per year for State Legislators and Members of the Board of Equalization. Of course these numbers are several years old.

(2) What do the perks add up to?
The daily per diem allowance, travel allowance and food allowance, adds up to about $30,000 yearly per legislator. This number does not include the legislator leased car program.
*Source: Assembly and Senate Republican Caucuses, California Legislature, 1996-1998, 2003

(3) What is the operating budget for the California State Legislature?
The State Budget contains an operating budget of one-hundred forty-nine million dollars for the State Legislature.
*Source: Offices of the California Director of Finance, and Legislative Analyst, 1998

(4) What is the length of session for California's State Legislature?
The California Legislature operates for approximately 10 months annually.

(5) Who is involved in California's State Budget negotiations
In California State Budget negotiations involve the "Big 5" consisting of the Governor, Assembly Speaker, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, and the Minority Party Leaders of each legislative house.

(6) How long is the California State Budget overdue on average?
It's generally about 6-7 weeks overdue. The California State Budget is required to be signed and enacted into law as of midnight June 30 of each year. However, the State Budget is on average not passed by the legislature, nor signed by the Governor, until mid-late August. California utilizes a yearly budget as it operates a full-time legislature. An interesting fact though is how the legislators leave the State Budget incomplete as they adjourn from about mid-July until mid-August to return to their districts before returning to the Capitol to complete the budget.

(7) Do California's Constitutional Officers get paid when the State Budget is overdue?
Yes. No other state employee is paid, but the Elected State Officials continue to be paid their salaries and daily per diem allowance without penalty, or forfeiture. If the Governor and State Legislators would have to forego their pay like all other state employees, watch a budget passed more timely.

 

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