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January 9, 2007 > Former California lawmakers get high-paying appointments

Former California lawmakers get high-paying appointments

By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO (AP), Jan 05 _ Three former Democratic state lawmakers landed new jobs on state boards and commissions Friday, two of them full-time posts paying more than $100,000 a year through 2010.

Former state Sen. Liz Figueroa of Fremont, who lost a bid for her party's nomination for lieutenant governor in June, will be paid $114,191 annually as a member of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Former state Sen. Wes Chesbro of Arcada, will earn $117,818 annually as a member of the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, made the appointments to the four-year terms Friday.

Perata also appointed former Oakland Assemblywoman Wilma Chan to the California Medical Assistance Commission through 2009. That part-time job pays $50,000 a year plus travel expenses.

Chesbro previously served for eight years on the Waste Management Board until he was elected to the Senate from 1998 through 2006.

Perata noted in his appointment message that Chesbro helped draft the state's Integrated Waste Management Act and was a founding member of the board that helped cut in half the amount of waste to be buried in landfills.

Other members of the waste board include Margo Reid Brown, a former scheduling director to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jeffrey Danzinger, a former Schwarzenegger speechwriter and deputy communications director.

Figueroa served in the Senate from 1998-2006 and the Assembly from 1994-98. In her new job, she will help rule on unemployment insurance benefit determinations that have been appealed from the state Employment Development Department.

She joins a board that includes Terri Carbaugh, formerly press secretary to First Lady Maria Shriver, and Ann M. Richardson, once chief deputy legislative secretary to former Gov. Gray Davis.

As senators, Chesbro and Figueroa earned base salaries of about $113,098.

Chan, who served in the Assembly from 1994-2000, joins a commission that negotiates contracts with health care providers serving Medi-Cal recipients.

Figueroa and Chesbro replace appointees of former Senate leader John Burton whose terms had expired. Figueroa replaces Don Novey, former head of the politically powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association, while Chesbro replaces Cheryl Peace, a former private financial manager.

Chan replace Teresa Hughes on the medical board.

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