Politics & Government

Ex-California Assembly speaker promoted staffers, raised pay on final day

Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass quietly promoted 20 members of her Democratic caucus staff and gave them 10 percent salary increases as she stepped down as Assembly leader.

Bass submitted the pay hikes and they took effect on the same day, last Friday, the Los Angeles Democrat's final working day at the helm of the 80-member lower house.

Bass' successor, Assemblyman John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, was sworn in Monday.

Targeted staff members received different job titles, reflecting a change in duties, said Jon Waldie, Assembly administrator.

Only two of the promotions went to employees earning more than $75,000 per year — 17 of the 20 Democratic caucus aides had annual salaries below $50,000, records show.

But the increases come at a thorny time for lawmakers, with the state facing massive debt and most state workers dealing with pay cuts through furloughs.

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