California Governor Gavin Newsom Failed To Take Promised Pay Cut After Cutting State Workers’ Pay By 10 Percent

The most recent in a series of missteps hit California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday.

Mistakes by California officials have delayed data to the state’s coronavirus reporting system. Newsom’s administration has seen the recent resignation of top officials after the data reporting errors and an an ethics complaint about a $1 billion state deal.

After the data delays, Newsom held a press conference at which he said plainly, “I’m Governor. The buck stops with me.”

But now the Sacramento Bee reported that Newsom — who promised to cut his own pay as he ordered state workers’ checks to be cut by 10 percent — has been drawing his full monthly salary of $17,479.

That, with Californians suffering after Newsom closed all but essential businesses in March, shuttering film and TV production in the state. Newsom’s Plumpjack winery, however, was open until early July. PlumpJack, received a loan worth between $150,000 and $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department, according to CBS News affiliate in Sacramento.

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The Bee put in a pay data request to the State Controller’s Office and received the information about the status of Newsom’s pay, as well as that of other elected officials.

State Controller Betty Yee was the only one of the state’s eight elected constitutional officers — such as the treasurer, secretary of state and attorney general — to take a pay cut last month, according to the data.

After questions from The Bee on Wednesday, Governor’s Office spokesman Nathan Click said an oversight by the office resulted in Newsom keeping his full pay, which for July was $17,479.

Newsom sent a letter to the Controller’s Office Wednesday asking Yee to reduce his pay retroactively to July 1.

While elected state officials are exempt from such pay cuts, Newsom promised he and the rest of the state government’s workforce would voluntarily take pay cuts when he asked state workers to make that sacrifice in May.

Newsom on Wednesday urged the other elected state officers to finally make that sacrifice.

Treasurer Fiona Ma, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara all then requested reductions, according to Controller’s Office spokeswoman Jennifer Hanson.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla was also expected to request a reduction. The Board of Equalization has not made a statement on the matter.

But Yee has, according to the Bee.

“Millions of Californians have lost their jobs, and our state continues to reel from a pandemic-induced recession,” Yee said in an emailed statement. “State workers absorbed a pay cut to help balance the budget. It is important to me to make the same sacrifice as my team.”

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