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California Lawmakers Funnel Windfall Into Raises

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — State lawmakers are using a $12 million windfall in the state budget to restore last year’s cuts to their pay.

The compensation commission approved restoring wages back to the 2011 levels by a 5-1 vote.

The feeling by most on the board is that in a state the size of California, lawmakers should be paid accordingly.

“Looking outside the state, our governor is paid less than the governors of New york, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia,” said committee chairman Thomas Dalzell.

But while still less, his salary is about to jump. most lawmakers will once again make $95,000 after the commission’s decision.

The cuts were put in place a year ago, as other state workers were forced to take some furlough days. Even though it falls below the nation’s average, some believe it’s not the time for increases.

“I agree with the governor, now is not the time for a raise,” said commission member John Sites.

While revenues may be far off from the days of the housing boom, voter-approved tax hikes and a steadying economy puts the state in a better financial standing.

Even so, one lawmaker seems to care very little that the upswing is leading to his new bump in pay.

“No, I don’t think so,” said State Sen. Bill Emerson (R-Redlands). “It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other.

Even with the hike, state lawmakers will still bring in less money than a Sacramento County supervisor.

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