On The Money: Chief Justice Grants Pay Raise

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) —  California has a $28 billion budget hole,  but hundreds of government workers will be getting a big pay raise worth collectively over a million dollars. In an interview you’ll see only on CBS 13, Sacramento’s top judge, Steve White said he and other trial court judges are outraged by the $1.1 million pay hike, just granted by the outgoing Supreme Court Justice Ronald George.

“It’s public money,” said Presiding Judge Steve White in an interview from inside his home today. White added, “It’s money that was intended to keep courts open.”

White said the pay hike will hurt trial courts across California – while benefiting well paid bureaucrats.

“Over a third of them make over $100,000 a year,” White said in the exclusive interview.

“Some are making $200,000 a year. These are bureaucrats in San Francisco, not the courts, not the judges,” White told CBS 13.

Outgoing Supreme Court Justice Ronald George has just approved a 3.5% pay raise for hundreds of staffers at a government agency few people have heard of – the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The Chief Justice says the so-called “…step increases have continued at all levels of government and the various governmental entities – federal, state , county and municipal…The reinstatement of step increases for eligible employees is simply an issue of fairness.”

But Judge Steve White disagrees.

 “If it were an issue of fairness, it would be keeping the courts open instead of giving people raises,” White told CBS 13.

 “It’s a pay raise to people, many of whom got pay raises a year ago,” White said.

But pay hikes won’t help ease the long lines to get into court.

Chief Justice Ronald George said in his letter, “Because of the late passage of the state’s budget this year and the continuing fiscal crisis, it would not be prudent to end our one-day-a-month mandatory furlough at this time.”

That means many courts will continue to stay closed one day a month. The pay hike is the final word from the outgoing Chief Justice – there is no appeal in this case.

If you see examples of questionable government spending, send us an e-mail to onthemoney@kovr.com . You can also follow On The Money stories in progress via Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/mikeluery .

More from On The Money

More From CBS Sacramento

Tickets to aftershock now on sale
Follow Us On Facebook

Listen Live