California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to take a 10% pay cut in solidarity with state workers due to budget deficits caused by the lockdown, however three months later it can be revealed the governor’s pay cut never took place.
When Gov. Newsom’s office was called to get information on why his pay was not reduced as he promised, they said it was an “administrative error.”
LET report: In May of this year, Gov. Newsom had proposed a budget to answer the reduction in revenue across the state. The revision, which showed a 22.3 percent loss in revenue since January, was most likely a direct result of the shutdown of the state amid the pandemic fears. The revised budget has a projected deficit of $54.3 billion.
Gov. Newsom admitted that the revised budget also included a proposed 10 percent pay cut to all state employees and less funding for public schools and community colleges. To help the ailing budget, Gov. Newsom asked the state workers to take a 10% reduction in pay.
A press release on the budget said,
“Negotiations will commence or continue with the state’s collective bargaining units to achieve reduced pay of approximately 10 percent.
The May Revision includes a provision to impose reductions if the state cannot reach an agreement. In addition, nearly all state operations will be reduced over the next two years, and nonessential contracts, purchases and travel have already been suspended”
Knowing the strain of state employees losing 10 percent of their pay would cause on their families, Gov. Newsom at least tried to make it sting a little less. Newsom promised that he and his staff would also take the ten percent cut,
“And so we’re asking, across the board, for 10% contribution in wages,” Newsom said. ”We’ll be negotiating and bargaining with each bargaining unit in the state of California.
I know this is the last thing that our partners want to hear, but unfortunately, we’re in a position where it’s required of all of us. And by the way, including me and including my entire staff.”
As an elected official, Gov. Newsom is not required to take a pay cut when there is a budget reduction. Knowing this, he said in May,
“Nothing breaks my heart more than making budget cuts … Let me sum up here, quickly. Also recognize this: you can’t have a conversation about budget deficits, and you can’t have a conversation about sacrifice unless you lead by example.
And I want folks to know that none of us in state government will be immune from tightening our belts and committing to help the cause and help support those most in need.”
A spokesperson for Gov. Newsom had said:
“The Governor publicly committed to taking the same pay cut as other state workers when he introduced his budget in May and has officially asked the Controller to adjust his pay, effective July 1. The reductions for both July and August will be deduced for the next pay period.”
The problem is the reduction in pay never happened.
The Sacramento Bee produced a report on August 20th which found that Gov. Newsom has been getting his complete monthly salary of $17,479 for almost three months when he promised to take the pay cut.
When Gov. Newsom’s office was called to get information on why the pay was not reduced, they said it was an “administrative error.” Gov. Newsom has since notified the controller to reduce his pay, retroactively to July.
The only elected official in the state to take the reduction in pay was State controller Betty Yee. Gov. Newsom had pressured State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra to also take the pay cuts.
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