LaMalfa offended by raise

Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, announced in a press release last week that he opposes the 12 percent pay raise state legislators were granted May 23 by an independent citizens’ panel whose members were appointed by former Gov. Gray Davis.

The current governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, criticized the raise for its timing and the recipients for taking it, even though they had nothing to do with the decision.

According to the press release from LaMalfa Chief of Staff David Reade, his boss “shook his head in disbelief” after hearing that the California Citizens Compensation Commission had approved the raise from $99,000 per year to $110,880.

“In a year when we are wrestling with closing a $4.6 billion deficit in our state budget, this committee decided that the Legislature deserve [sic] a raise,” LaMalfa was quoted in the press release. “The timing of the decision couldn’t have been more ironic.”

The press release further states that, rather than keep the raise, LaMalfa will “instead distribute the increase in his pay, less any taxes, among worthy Northstate causes.”

“If the Legislature were a private sector business, the executive and managers would be facing pay cuts based on performance, if they were lucky [enough] to still have jobs,” the release said. “This is another example of how out-of-touch some in the political class really are with taxpayers.”

Calls to Reade to ask what which Northstate causes LaMalfa considers worthy were not returned.

The commission was created by the passage of Prop. 112 in 1990. The proposition was placed on the ballot by the Legislature and requires members to meet each year before June 30 to decide if changes are warranted in the salaries and job benefit packages (not including retirement) for the members of the Legislature and all state-elected officers. The Legislature’s proposed raise is the first since 1998.