Speaker Bass hands out pay raises to staff

You know how state employees are being threatened with unpaid furloughs and salary cuts — and how Mayor Villaraigosa is asking city staffers to voluntarily give up some pay? And how voters are being asked to raise a bunch of taxes next month? Well, in what looks to be a stroke of poor timing, Speaker Karen Bass handed out 5% pay raises to Assembly staffers, calling them overdue. Capitol Weekly:

Bass, defending the pay increases, lamented that they might be taken out of context and used as ammunition in the fight against the May 19 ballot measures – measures that Bass is supporting.

“I think that some people can spin it and use it in an opportunistic fashion,” Bass said. “However, we cut our (Assembly) budget by $15 million. If I can find ways to reduce overall expenditures and give staff a merit raise at the same time, I think that’s another way to handle an economic crisis.”

Also on the state beat: Gavin Newsom officially declares for governor: no story. Newsom officially declares on Twitter! Facebook! YouTube!: Stories, tweets and blog posts up the wazoo.

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