Thursday, August 25, 2016

New Law Requires Public Officials to Disclose Compensation Increases

Gov. Jerry brown signed SB 1436 on Monday, which requires local governments to announce any increases in pay or benefits for their executives, publicly before they are adopted. Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna) introduced the bill in response to the outrageous pay increases some public executives in California had provided themselves, as illustrated by the City of Bell scandal.  The new law requires a report on future increases in open session that includes a summary of the benefit and salary increases.

This bill addresses concerns of hypocrisy that some public executives call for transparency in rank and file public employee compensation while discretely providing themselves lavish compensation packages.  As Senator Bates noted, “Local agency executives, such as agency CEOs and city managers, are offered fringe benefits including health care coverage and pensions in amounts that can have a significant long-term impact on the budget and that deserve particular scrutiny by the public.”