California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was in hot water Thursday after it was discovered that he had not taken a pay cut as promised, despite asking state workers to take a reduced salary to aid the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
In May, Newsom proposed a 10% pay cut for state workers to help fill the state’s $54 billion budget deficit amid coronavirus shutdowns. In a show of solidarity, he voluntarily pledged to join the state’s 96,000-member workforce in reducing his salary.
But, according to a report Thursday from the Sacramento Bee, that has not happened.
In July, the governor continued drawing his regular monthly salary of $17,479, as shown by pay data recorded by the State Controller’s Office.
A spokesman for the governor’s office called it an “oversight.”
The outlet added that of the state’s eight elected constitutional officers — which includes the treasurer, secretary of state and attorney general — only one, State Controller Betty Yee, took the pay cut last month.
After the Sacramento Bee began asking questions Wednesday, Newsom reportedly sent a letter to Yee asking her to reduce his pay retroactively to the beginning of July, when pay cuts kicked in for the rest of the government workforce.
Amazingly, Yvonne Walker, the president of SEIU Local 1000, the state’s largest union, refrained from criticizing the governor Thursday. She essentially suggested that perhaps he and his office were too busy.
“If there’s one thing we know, it’s that our governor keeps his word,” Walker said in an emailed statement. “We can only imagine that with all the things going on in our state … it wouldn’t be surprising if processing the necessary paperwork has taken a backseat to more pressing matters.”
It is certainly not the first time that Newsom has faced scrutiny for not living under the same standards that his office has implemented since the start of the pandemic.
KOVR-TV reported in July that PlumpJack, a Northern California-based winery and hospitality company founded and part-owned by Newsom, had continued operations months after the governor ordered all essential businesses closed in March.
PlumpJack also raised eyebrows for reportedly receiving a loan worth $150,000 to $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program.
TheBlaze reached out to Gov. Newsom’s office for further comment regarding the news but had not received a reply at time of publication.