The $122.7 million annual payroll for the California Legislature is far more than a compendium of salaries. It reflects the individual eccentricities of each house’s approach to pay and politics, and the depth to which the partisan divide is reflected in the pocket book.
Proportionally and as a group, Senate employees are better paid–at least on paper. The Senate’s 934 staffers earn a combined pay of $57.7 million. The Assembly, which has twice as many elected members and 250 more staffers, has a total payroll $65 million–just $7.3 million more than the smaller Senate.
Commensurate with its position as the Legislature for the nation’s largest state, California legislative budget is larger than any other state.
But while the average Senate pay is higher, the top Assembly people earn significantly more than the top Senate people, and the distribution of salaries throughout each house is different.
For example, Dan Eaton, chief of staff to Assembly Speaker Fabian N