According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) records, over $1.6 million is currently budgeted to protect the six down-ballot officers. The six down-ballot officers are Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, state Controller Betty Yee, California Treasurer John Chiang, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Governor Jerry Brown is the only one not required to reimburse the CHP for security services because that money comes straight out of the state budget. It is not disclosed how much money the CHP spends to protect Governor Brown. Fran Clader, the CHP’s director of communications, told the San Francisco Chronicle the following,
For security reasons, we do not release the specific cost.
State Controller Betty Yee spent $297,169, or about $814 a day, in taxpayer money to provide a car and driver for her in fiscal year 2016-2017. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Yee is budgeted for up to $360,000 a year, or $986 a day, which is the highest of any of the down-ballot officers. Chiang is right behind Yee with a budget at $350,000 a year, or about $958 a day. The following is the rest of the down-ballot officers and their protection budget: Jones’s budget is $260,000, Torlakson’s budget is $250,000, Padilla’s budget is $200,000, and Newsom’s budget is $150,000. The CHP provides the cars and drivers and then bills the individual offices for the costs, which the taxpayers ultimately pay for. This is definitely interesting news that may not sit well with some California residents.