California spending millions on cars and drivers for state officials

July 23, 2018

Controller Betty Yee

The state of California is spending a combined total of more than $1 million a year on providing cars and drivers for just six top government officials. [Cal Coast Times]

Earlier this month, some observers of California politics took note when an unmarked car transporting state Controller Betty Yee was rear-ended. At the time, Yee was traveling with her husband in an unmarked CHP vehicle to the Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting in Oakland.

State records show, in 2016-2017, California taxpayers spent $297,169 on providing a car and driver to Yee. Jennifer Hanson, Yee’s spokesperson, said Yee typically receives CHP protection during her many public appearances across the state. The CHP protection is the price of having a “chief fiscal officer for the world’s fifth largest economy,” Hanson said.

In the current state budget, up to $360,000 is allocated to protecting Yee. The CHP protection budget for Treasurer John Chiang is $350,000 a year, followed by $260,000 for Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, $250,000 for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, $200,000 for Secretary of State Alex Padilla and $150,000 for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The CHP provides cars and drivers for these six constitutional officers. The agency then bills the respective offices for the protection expenses. Combined, more than $1.6 million is currently budgeted for CHP protection of six of the state’s seven constitutional officers.

California’s seventh constitutional officer is the governor. The governor’s protection services funding comes straight from the state budget.

It is unclear how much money is spent on protecting the governor. In all, California spends $70 million a year on protecting everyone from the governor on down, as well as protecting public buildings and countering terrorism threats.

Jorge Estrada

And then there was that ding dong with too much money who wanted to convert California into three states. Three times the waste and loud and clear stupidity. There should be a punishment (as in a Billion Dollar fine, just like the big boys) for perversion of the public process. Where would that money go?, into paving our roads of good intensions.


What if the result was one really screwed up New California, containing San Francisco and Sacramento and all the current worthless politicians we have, and one medium screwed up New California containing L.A. but with less power and no water so an attitude change may result as they dry up, and the third inland state, finally a New California governed by the people for the people. Would that be nice?

Jorge Estrada

Hanging onto hope and seeking resolve is always a good mindset. I truly believe that most people harbor good nature and common sense is in their hearts. The problem I see is not the minority of wacko’s that are out there, it is the politicians who use the minority cause for votes and funding while the well wishers, who follow, seem to forget that bad consequences start with bad choices.


Nothing is too good for our faithful public servants.


I suspect all of the State’s Constitutional Officers started receiving protection after the assault on March Fong Eu.


Looks like pay is based on a persons importance or responsibilities. Based off that assumption how come Pavvo Ogren King of Oceano (pop 7200 aprox) isnt escorted by local law enforcement whe he travels. He is right in the middle pay wise just under the State Of Ca (population 39 Million+) Insurance Commissioner’s pay.

Wow, somebody did a good job of screwing the Oceano residents didnt they?

Paavo Ogren | Transparent California…/paavo-ogren/

Regular pay: $202,391.00. Overtime pay: $0.00. Other pay: $2,864.00. Total pay: $205,255.00. Total benefits: $40,763.35. Total pay & benefits: $246,018.35.


He’s thanking Karen White, Mary Lucey and Lori Angello as he laughs all the way to the bank.

Lucey proudly claimed he was worth every penny.

Now Oceano is penniless, and rather than sell their excess water they prefer to let it leak from decrepit infrastructure they have long ignored to help meet Ogren’s salary.

No wonder the two new directors resigned.

You can’t fix stupid.


I would suspect that all of these people have anti gun ideas. Why not when the state and taxpayers are paying to protect you with armed guards?

Noodly Appendages

This is totally unacceptable! Since when does the media use a caricature artist for public officials on the LEFT?!?!

What? OMG! Never mind…

Jorge Estrada

$70 million is the tip of the iceberg when considering waste. Why not telecommute and cut business travel that has not been approved by a voter’s template? Yes a Voter Approved Expense Template for travel and many other current perks. Our taxes are not discretionary funds and we do not fund royalty, we fund the product, our tangible social benefits of governance for all. A golf tournament should never be funded by the public and certainly the public does not fund a travel club too. It is a simple rational, we approve our taxes to be spent on what they were created to accomplish.


Unless this lady is carrying vast amounts of cash, I am not seeing the need for the taxpayers to spend upwards of $300K to “protect” her and her husband.


And let me guess those six support the increased gas tax for the little folks, why wouldn’t they??? easy to support something you don’t have to pay.