A Senate committee has killed state Sen. Joel Anderson’s bid to cap the annual salaries of state employees at $173,987—the pay for Gov. Jerry Brown.
The 7-6 vote in the Senate Government Organization Committee blocks further consideration this year of SB 1368 by Anderson, the Republican from Alpine whose 36th District includes La Mesa, Santee, Poway, Rancho Bernardo and Ramona and parts of southern Riverside County.
Only one Democrat—Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco—voted for the pay cap. All the Republicans on the committee backed it as well. Seven Democrats opposed the cap.
“The governor and his majority party are asking Californians to raise their own taxes, but that would be like throwing good money after bad because there’s currently no limit on lavish state salaries,” Anderson said in a statement. “Taxpayers, rank-and-file workers and students once again lose out to the fat cats at the top of the food chain.”
Yee added: “Senator Anderson is to be commended for authoring this legislation. The UC and CSU are starving our students while taking high salaries.”
And David Wolfe of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said: “At a time when 2 million private-sector employees are out of work and the state is facing at least a $9 billion budget deficit, the concept of shared sacrifice is an important one.
“It is hard to justify asking voters to increase their own taxes when 9,000 employees make more than the governor.”
Anderson’s SB 1368 would have limited the annual pay of any state officer or employee to no higher than that of the governor, which is currently set at $173,987.
In 2011, more than 9,000 state employees were earning more than the governor, above and beyond the national average for similar positions.
Anderson’s office listed these titles and pay comparisons:
- Physician and Surgeon (Department of Corrections): $784,595 (over double the national average of $339,738)
- Staff Psychiatrist (Department of Corrections): $566,029 (over triple the national average of $167,610)
- University of California, President: $560,594
- Dentist (Department of Corrections): $446,531 (over triple the national average of $142,870)
- CSU San Diego, President: $400,000
- Executive Director, CA High Speed Rail Authority: $359,502
- Chief Executive Assignment, Caltrans: $287,883
- Astronomer (UC Santa Cruz): $274,977 (almost triple the national average of $93,340)
- Registered Nurse (Department of Corrections): $269,810 (over quadruple the national average of $62,450)
- University Librarian (UCSF): $231,186 (over quadruple the national average of $55,180)
Besides Anderson and Yee, those voting in favor of the bill were Sens. Tom Berryhill (R-Stanislaus), Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Nigel) and Mark Wyland (R-Escondido).
Voting against the pay cap were Sens. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles), Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), Ed Hernandez (D-Los Angeles), Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles).
A Patch poll on the subject found heavy support (79 percent) for the Anderson bill as of 3:40 p.m. April 24.