The State Worker

California state workers will keep monthly paydays

A bill that would have compelled state government to pay its employees twice a month died in a Senate committee on Monday.

Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, pitched Senate Bill 1234 as a proposal to help lower-paid state workers better manage their finances by giving them two checks a month instead of one.

California state law requires private employers to pay workers at least twice a month, but exempts government agencies. Vidak's office heard from state workers in Caltrans and at the Department of General Services who said they'd have a better handle on their budget if they were paid their wages more frequently.

"Even our state unemployment insurance is paid out twice a month. Why cant we do this for our state workers?" Vidak asked at the Senate Public Employee and Retirement Committee.

Committee Chairman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, replied that he was not convinced that state workers were clamoring for a change in their pay cycle. If they were, he said, the state would hear that request in contract negotiations with unions.

"It is not something that's been requested as part of collective bargaining and that's something I want to respect," Pan said.

The Sacramento Bee covers news for state workers you can't get anywhere else. Sign up for a digital subscription today.

The State Controller's Office estimated that making the change would cost at least $1 million up front and potentially increase annual payroll expenses by as much as $6.7 million.