Arnold Schwarzenegger, a big disappointment as Golden State governor (to me, anyway), has at least enriched the lives of one class of Californians: state employees.
The state of California's payroll is skyrocketing, even as its budget deficit has grown to billions of dollars in recent months.
In Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's first four years, the total bill for state workers' salaries jumped by 37 percent, compared with a 5 percent increase in the preceding four years under then-Gov. Gray Davis, a Chronicle analysis of state payroll records shows.
One month before Schwarzenegger took office in November 2003, just eight state employees earned more than $200,000 a year working in the core state government, which excludes universities and the Legislature. In April of this year, there were nearly a thousand, according to records.
And the number of state employees making six-figure salaries has more than doubled since 2003, to nearly 15,000. Meanwhile, the number of state workers has grown by 26,000 under Schwarzenegger after being cut by Davis, who was recalled from office in the midst of a severe budget crisis.
Big San Francisco Chronicle blowout here. Davis' budget deficit in his recall year was $38 billion. Schwarzenegger's deficit this year is being estimated at $15-20 billion, on an overall budget of around $100 billion, up from Davis' outgoing $77 billion.