Rob Haswell, whom I have mentioned several times on this site, has put a challenge out to termed-out Assemblyman Tim Leslie to reject the upcoming pay-raise authorized by the California Citizens Compensation Commission.
Democratic Assembly candidate Rob Haswell today called on Assemblyman Tim Leslie (R Tahoe City) to turn down the legislative pay increase ordered by the California Citizens Compensation Commission last Friday. Lawmakers will receive a $2,217 pay increase after receiving a $11,880 pay hike last year, which Leslie accepted – while voting against an increase in the state’s minimum wage. California’s state assembly members currently make $110,880 a year, making them among the highest paid legislators in the country.
“This continues a pattern of ‘politics of self interest’ that has dominated this region. Leslie is fine taking a 12 percent raise for himself when he’s already making a hundred thousand dollars, but he turns a blind eye to the fact that the majority of our state’s minimum wage earners are primary bread winners for their families,” Haswell said, noting that the combined two assembly pay raises over the last two years surpasses a year’s salary at the current minimum wage level. Haswell’s Republican opponent for the 4th Assembly District seat this November, Ted Gaines, has also expressed opposition to raising the minimum wage. (Rob Haswell for Assembly 6/30/06)
The Legislature, of course, passed the buck on their pay raises. Like the U.S. Congress, who has made the raises automatic unless they vote against it, they don’t want to be seen as responsible for actually raising their own salaries. So, they came up with this Commission to do it for them. I, for one, don’t see a huge problem with legislators voting for pay increases. What I do have a problem with is legislators who vote for raises for themselves based on “cost of living”, but then don’t support minimum wage increases? So, Assemblyman, your cost of living went up by $2200, but minimum wage workers don’t deserve an extra buck an hour? That is very troubling.