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The State Tries to Crack Down on Exorbitant Local Official Salaries

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In the wake of the city of Bell's salary scandal, California's State Assembly is considering a bill that would punish localities that give their local officials pay that the attorney general considers unreasonable.

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The L.A. Times with more on A.B. 1955:

Cities that provide officials with excessive pay would be subject to significant financial penalties, including a 50% income tax on city council members, under a proposal considered by state lawmakers Wednesday....

The legislation would also require employee compensation and contracts with managers to be approved in open session at least seven days after the details were posted for the public on a city website. Those details would include such extras as bonuses and special vacation, insurance and pension benefits.

The measure would also hit cities in their pocketbooks by blocking their ability to borrow money by issuing bonds and to spend money for tax-generating redevelopment projects if the state attorney general determined their council members' salaries to be excessive.....

State Sen. Louis Correa (D- Santa Ana) said he was planning to introduce a separate bill Thursday to require local administrators and elected officials, including school board members, county supervisors, water district board trustees and city council members, to annually disclose their salaries, benefits, reimbursement payments and other perquisites.

They also would have to disclose income from side appointments to commissions, an issue that arose in the Bell controversy.

In other Bell scandal news, the L.A. county and state attorneys general offices announce an alliance in their investigation of Bell officials, and a Bell city councilman might really live in Chino.

City of Angles blogging on the start of the Bell salary scandal.

(Photo: Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

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