Assembly Staff Statistics (February 2017)

The California Legislature is not just a group of legislators. In fact, the 80 Assemblymembers make up just a little over 6% of the nearly 1,300 employed by the State Assembly. It’s with that in mind that, from time to time, we take a look at the Assembly Staff Salaries to evaluate the status of employment in the legislature.

Some statistics:

  • As of February 2017, there were 1,193 Assembly employees listed in the Salaries spreadsheet.
  • As of February 2017, 54% of Assembly staff have worked there for 3 years or less. This is about 4% lower than in late 2015.
  • 29% of Assembly staff have worked there for less than a year.
  • The midpoint in Assembly tenure (currently 2 years, 5 months) is currently held by Janelle K. Wetzstein, a Field Representative for Assemblyman Levine who started with the Assembly on September 22, 2014.
  • The median income for Assembly staffers is $55,080 (which is almost exactly the bottom of range salary for AGPAs in state civil service).


NOTE: It’s important to note that these statistics include only current consecutive service. Service by staffers who transferred from the State Senate or who previously worked for the Assembly but had a break in service is not reflected in this data. I wish it were.

California Lawmaker Now Available

Now available on is California Lawmaker by Alex Vassar, editor of the One Voter Project. Alex has spent years studying the California’s Legislature and is quoted regularly by journalists around the state.

California’s Legislature and the people who have served in it have an amazingly rich history. Some have held positions of national importance like Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger or US Supreme Court Justices Joseph McKenna and Stephen J. Field (all of whom served in the Assembly).

Henry G. Worthington, an Assemblyman elected in 1862, would later serve as a pallbearer at the funeral of Abraham Lincoln. Not all these stories end well. California legislators have also been fatally wounded in a bar brawl or died in a drunken canoeing accident.

Current through the start of the 92nd Session (2017-18), this is the story of the 4,424 men and women who have served in the California Legislature. In addition to the current session, this book explores the history of the legislature since 1849.


About the Author

Arriving at the State Capitol as a Senate Fellow in 2007, Alex Vassar has more than a decade of experience in California public policy. Alex has worked in both houses of the California Legislature, as a Senior Policy Advisor for a member of the San Jose City Council and an appointee at the State Board of Equalization. His love of California political history led him to create the One Voter Project [], an effort to examine trends and explore the remarkable history behind the golden state that we know today. Through his research, Alex has become a trusted reference on legislative history and you can find his quotes in the pages of the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee. Alex can occasionally be found at the Capitol during his lunch breaks, catching up on the latest news or leading tours for school groups.

Those we lost in 2016

We lost some good ones this year. There’s just not a lot more that I can say. Marian Bergeson was the 21st woman to serve in the California legislature and Sharon Runner was the 99th. George House and John Benoit both had long careers as Highway Patrol officers before joining the legislature. Greg Schmidt played a critical role in guiding the Senate through the term limits era. Each left a mark on the state that will not soon fade.

John A. Busterud – Assemblymember (1955-1962)

Nancy Reagan – First Lady of California (1967-1975), First Lady of the United States (1981-1989)

Sharon Runner – State Assemblymember (2002-2008), State Senator (2011-2012, 2015-2016)
George R. House Jr. – State Assemblymember (1994-2000)

Marian C. Bergeson – State Assemblymember (1978-1984), State Senator (1984-1995)
Gregory P. Schmidt – Secretary of the Senate (1996-2014)

Tom Hayden – Assemblyman (1982-1992), State Senator (1992-2000)

Ed Reinecke – Member of Congress (1965-1969), Lieutenant Governor (1969-1974)
John J. Benoit – State Assemblymember (2002-2008), State Senator (2008-2009)