Ken Cooley joins the no-per-diem lawmakers club
Newly elected Sacramento County Assemblyman Ken Cooley has joined six other local legislators in rejecting the $142 per day in living expenses to which lawmakers are entitled while the Legislature is in session.
The decision will cost Cooley and the others between $25,000 and $30,000 each for the upcoming year, based on the number of days that per diem was paid in 2012.
Three other area Assembly members who rejected per diem in 2012 have submitted letters asking to do the same for 2013: Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento; Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin; and Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.
Newly re-elected Assemblyman Richard Pan, however, opted to begin accepting per diem last January after obtaining a second residence, in the Pocket area, to run for a newly drawn Assembly seat that had no incumbent.
He has not rescinded last year's request to accept the compensation, records show.
As for the upper house, Senate secretary Greg Schmidt said three senators were not paid per diem for last Monday's swearing-in because they had not rescinded their requests from the 2012 session: Senate leader Darrell Steinberg; Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, who is married to Beth Gaines; and Lois Wolk, D-Davis.
<;MX| ><;MX| >MONEY WATCH
The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association's largest political expenses this year have been contributions to Proposition 32 and the state Democratic Party, according to the union's most recent campaign filings. CSLEA gave $350,000 to efforts backing Gov. Jerry Brown's successful tax proposal and another $280,000 to the party. The union also spent $292,000 on printing expenses.
"Thank goodness it actually does take a vote of the people to change the state constitution not that there isn't plenty of mischief that Democrats can't do with their two-thirds majorities."
JON FLEISCHMAN, publisher of the conservative FlashReport blog and former director of the California Republican Party