September 5, 2011

Assembly Budget Release Details Portion of Hayashi Expenses

Calif. Assemblymember Mary Hayashi
Although the California Legislature recently appeared to blink when it agreed to disclose expenses for each of its members, it may have been more of a wink, since the disclosures fail to adequately account for the total expenses of each member of the Assembly.

For example, according to the California State Assembly Summary of Expenditures for December 1, 2010, to July 31, 2011(8 months), local Assemblymember Mary Hayashi's expenses totaled $207,485.08. The table below shows the breakdown of those expenses:

Staff Salary$62,457.60
Travel & Per Diem (In-State)$914.80
Travel & Per Diem (Out-of-State)$0.00
Staff Travel$297.20
Car Lease$2,296.00
Car Maintenance$301.26
Gas & Oil$2,276.25
Car Rental Staff & Member$49.53
Dist. Office Rent, Mnt., Ut.$41,113.50
Furniture & Equipment$0.00
Office Supplies$1,814.72
Subscr. & Publications$1,065.56
Misc. Services$5,914.38

The expenses do not include any portion of Hayashi's annual salary of $95,291.00.

However, according to a list of Assembly staff salaries published by the California Assembly and dated May 31, 2011, the expenses for Hayashi's staff for that same time period (December 1, 2010, to July 31, 2011) total $518,264.00, more than double the amount released by the Assembly Rules Committee. The table below lists names and salaries for Hayashi staff members, and excludes a Committee Secretary:

Staff Member NameTitleMonthly Salary
Gin, Joanna M.M-Business & ProfessionsAssociate Consultant$4,167.00
Gutierrez, Jessica MarieM-District OfficeField Representative$1,365.00
King, Sandra LeeM-Capitol OfficeSecretary$4,000.00
Kobayashi, Afton YumejiM-Business & ProfessionsSenior Assistant$5,888.00
Mapp, AngelaM-Business & ProfessionsSenior Consultant$5,612.00
May, Rebecca BeatrizM-Business & ProfessionsAssociate Consultant$3,959.00
Mekata, Leandra K.M-Business & ProfessionsOffice Assistant$3,700.00
Parman, ChristopherM-District OfficeDistrict Coordinator$6,870.00
Ram, Shareen LataM-District OfficeSenior Field Representative$4,500.00
Ryan, Ellen ChristineM-District OfficeField Representative$4,000.00
Silva, Elissa ReneeM-Capitol OfficeLegislative Assistant$5,082.00
Warren, RossM-Business & ProfessionsChief Consultant$10,340.00
Wiant, Marina C.M-Business & ProfessionsLegislative Assistant$5,300.00

San Leandro Bytes has not received a response from Hayashi's District Coordinator Christopher Parman about the discrepancy. But Hayashi's expenses are not alone in being confusing and incomplete.

Judy Lin, in an AP story published on August 27, 2011, wrote …"the committee [Assembly Rules Committee] released documents that present an incomplete and at times contradictory picture. The figures show some rank-and-file Republican lawmakers with more lavish budgets than the Assembly speaker or the Democratic heads of powerful committees….It showed Portantino with the highest Assembly staff salary, having spent $213,263 so far this year. That compares to $160,832 for Perez, who controls the Assembly."

Unlike most of California's government, which is subject to the California Public Records Act, the California Senate and Assembly fall under the Legislative Open Records Act, which was passed in 1975. The Legislative Open Records Act enables the Senate and Assembly to determine which, if any, records, will be released publicly. The recent controversy over the release of the office budgets of members of California's legislature started when California Assemblymember Anthony Portantino refused to vote for the state budget and subsequently had his office budget slashed by Assembly Speaker John Perez. Perez has introduced a bill that would repeal the Legislative Open Records Act and subject the same disclosures as the rest of California's government.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at September 5, 2011 10:46 AM | TrackBack
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