State Mental Health Department Saw High Pay Increases in 2011
Last year, California's government payroll grew by $500 million, and the Department of Mental Health had some of the biggest increases, according to an analysis of state data, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The Bee analyzed information from the State Controller's Office.
Rising payrolls resulted primarily from a shift away from state worker furloughs that were implemented by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
State agencies operating under Gov. Jerry Brown (D) limited furloughs and instead laid off employees or enacted hiring freezes to reduce state spending.
Without the furlough days, state workers in 2011 received full paychecks for the first time in several years.
Mental Health Payroll Details
The payroll for the mental health department increased by almost $50 million to about $840 million last year.
Two mental health workers were amongÂ theÂ highest-paid state employees last year, excluding certain high-earning medical specialists at the University of California.
The highest state worker salaries were:
- $803,000, for a senior psychiatrist at the Salinas Valley State Prison psychiatric program; and
- $772,000, for a staff psychiatrist at Napa State Hospital (Reese, Sacramento Bee, 2/2).
The Salinas ValleyÂ facility is overseen by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.