Alarming Compensation Trends for State Workers

Jon Coupal
President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

At an event last night hosted by the San Joaquin Taxpayers Association in Stockton – the largest municipality to declare bankruptcy in the United States due to overly generous government employee compensation – the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation and the Center for Government Analysis jointly released a new study that reveals alarming compensation trends for State workers from 2005 to 2010.

The study, conducted by the Center for Government Analysis (CGA), found that total expenditures by the State of California to finance salaries and pension benefits for State workers grew three times as fast as the per capita personal income of all Californians.

Among other findings is the fact that estimated expenditures to pension systems have increased more than 4 times.

“Given the importance of the topic of California’s finances, the State’s expenditures (and the lack of disclosure regarding them) further erodes public confidence in our State government,” said Steven Frates, President of CGA.

The research also revealed that had the state allowed State worker salaries and benefits to increase at the same rate as the general per capita income rate for the rest of Californians, the State could have saved more than $2.1 billion – enough to increase the number of California teachers by 8.2%, adding nearly 25,000 teachers. If the State had kept the State worker workforce from growing, they would have saved even more – nearly $3 billion.

The findings in this study completely belie the excuses from Sacramento politicians that they need more money in state coffers.  A rapidly escalating share of taxpayer dollars that is being spent in Sacramento today is going toward bloated salaries and pensions, not teachers and schools.

The research was supported by a grant from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation. For a copy of the study, visit www.HJTA.org .

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