Nice work if you can get it

Yes, it’s true; state legislators are getting a 12 percent raise this year, at a time when California is cutting programs and “blowing up boxes” all over the place trying to save money. In one of those supreme ironies that seem to happen only in politics, the raise is the result of an effort to weed out corruption in elected officials. Well-paid officials are less likely to steal, or so the logic goes, and so an independent commission doles out legislative raises every five years. So, in case you were wondering, here’s how much we will be paying our public servants (effective December 2005), contrasted with how much the rest of us make. (Amounts are annual incomes, unless otherwise noted.)

Governor $175,000*

Lt. Governor $148,750

Secretary of state $131,250

Controller $140,000

Assembly speaker $127,512

Legislator $110,880

Average CEO $155,769/week

Average Calif. wage (2002) $41,419

Average Butte County wage $29,000

Food prep/server $14,208

*Our current governor is so rich and magnanimous that he generously donates his salary to the state.