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California Lawmakers Get 5 Percent Pay Raise

Aired 12/3/13 on KPBS News.

California lawmakers will be celebrating the holidays with a larger paycheck this year.

Just in time for the holidays, lawmakers in California are getting a raise. A 5 percent salary increase for legislators and Constitutional officers went into effect Monday, though the pay checks won't go out until the end of the month.

Eleven legislators have declined the raise. Mark Baldassare is president of the Public Policy Institute of California. He said those lawmakers may not want to face tough questions about their salaries from voters.

"Most California's don't have a positive opinion of how the legislature is performing its job. So to hear about pay raises, I think then, for many Californians, will raise the questions about well, why are they getting a pay raise this year?" Baldassare said.

Lawmaker salaries have been reduced or remained the same since 2007. Under this increase the governor will now be paid about $174,000. Legislators will get about $95,000. They are the highest paid in the country.

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