California Lawmakers’ Budget Records Offer Incomplete Spending Picture

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Budget records released this month by the Assembly should have provided a detailed look at the spending by California lawmakers.

Instead, the documents offer an incomplete and at times contradictory picture because they do not show spending in the current year or for committees and caucuses, where much of lawmakers’ office money is funneled.

For example, they show some rank-and-file Republican lawmakers— in the minority party—with more lavish budgets than the Assembly speaker or the Democratic heads of powerful committees.

One of those is Republican Assemblyman Brian Nestande of Palm Desert. The documents show he is the fifth-highest spender in the Legislature last year, putting him above the Assembly’s leader and minority leader.

Nestande said the records give a grossly unfair picture of lawmakers’ true spending.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


  • moravecglobal

    Lavish spending by the University of California Berkel;ey. ‘No deal!’, says University of California Berkeley (Cal) to sharing financial sacrifices with Californians, students.

    Democrats Republicans face mortgage defaults, 12% unemployment, pay reductions, loss of unemployment benefits. No layoff or wage reductions for Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty during longest deepest recession.
    There is no good reason to raise tuition, fees when wage concessions are available. UC wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP apply for the positions. If wages determine commitment to UC Berkeley, leave for better paying position. The sky above the 10 campuses will not fall.
    Pitch in UC Berkeley (with deeds not words) for all Democrats, Republicans!
    No furloughs. UCOP 18% reduction salaries & $50 million cut.
    Chancellors’ Vice-Chancellors’, 18% cut. Tenured faculty 15% trim.
    Non-Tenured, 10% reduction. Academic Senate, Council remove 100% costs salaries.
    It is especially galling to continue to generously compensate chancellors, vice-chancellors, faculty while Californians are making financial sacrifices and faculty, chancellor, vice-chancellor turnover is the lowest of USA public universities.
    The message that President Yudof, UC Board of Regent Chair Lansing, UC Berkeley Birgeneau are sending is they have more concern for generously paid chancellors, faculty. The few at the top need to get a grip on economic reality and fairness.
    The California Legislature needs a Bill to oversee higher education salaries, tuition.

  • President Obama

    Love the liberal media, they point out a republican is the 5th highest spender, what they neglected to tell you that the 4 highest spenders are democrats. So much for unbiased journalism, these stories seem pretty slanted to the left.

  • moravecglobal

    Records indicate that spending by the U niversity of California Berkeley Chancellor is…. you fill in the word? UC Berkeley’s Financial Adversity Spawns Positive Innovation, Financial Mistakes. (The author who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture & the way senior management work)
    University of California Berkeley (Cal) Chancellor’s huge mistakes: recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,000 tuition students that displace qualified Californians from public university; spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his & many vice chancellors jobs (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same at 0 cost); pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010; tuition to Return on Investment (ROI) drops below top 10; QS ranking below top ten: NCAA places basketball program on probation: absence institutional control.
    Chancellor Birgeneau’s ($500,000 salary) fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar asked for, & the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.
    A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies & then crafting a plan to fix them. Able oversight by the UC Board of Regents & the legislature would have required him to provide data on inefficiencies & on what steps he was taking to solve them during his 8 year reign. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the timid president, regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, & the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.
    It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste & inefficiencies during his 8 year reign. Faculty & staff raised issues with Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer ($400,000 salary), but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged expensive ($7,000,000 +) consultants to tell him & the Provost what they should have known as leaders or been able to find out from the bright, engaged people. (Prominent east-coast University accomplishing same at 0 costs)
    We are sympathetic to the frustration of UC Chancellors running their campuses with declining support from the state. Cal. has been badly damaged by Birgeneau. Good people are loosing their jobs. Cal’s leadership is either incompetent or culpable. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired.
    But you never want a crisis to go to waste. Increasing Cal’s budget is not enough; Birgeneau’s will continue huge mistakes; we believe the best course is to honorably replace Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau

    • smketr

      Not that your comments have anything to do with the article, but your complaints bring up a possible solution for Cal and the rest of the UC’s in the state. Get the State of California out of the education business by 1) Privatizing every UC in the state and 2) letting local governments handle K-12. This way Californians won’t have to listen or put up with any more B.S. that seems to constantly come out of Cal on a regular basis. And think of it, we won’t have to waste or tax dollars on those high salaries and you can get back to writing responses that are proper to the subject matter at hand instead of trying to start class warfare with the education system.

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