When it comes to money, the $73,728 that top-step California correctional officers make every year is more than enough, says a nonpartisan budget analyst’s study reported by the Sacramento Bee. The Legislative Analyst’s Office recommended that lawmakers kill a proposal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to raise the officers’ pay 5 percent. No legislator has agreed to sponsor the proposal.
California Correctional Peace Officers Association members have worked without an agreement since July 2006. The legislative analyst said the state can’t afford to pay the officers more in part because of “serious budgetary challenges.” California is facing a $14.5 billion budget deficit. About 130,000 applications flood the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation every year, the report said, suggesting current pay scales don’t need to be raised. Union spokesman Lance Corcoran blasted the report as the work of office-bound shut-ins who have no understanding of how prisons work. “Last time I checked, no one at the [analyst’s office] had ever been gassed,” Corcoran said, referring to a practice where inmates throw bags of feces or urine at correctional officers.