They said “Go west,” but many Californians are going north, south and east.
For the fourth consecutive year, more residents left the Golden State than moved here from other states, according to a report released Wednesday by the California Department of Finance.
The outflow – which was last seen during the economic and social struggles of the 1990s – started when it became too expensive for most people to buy homes in the state, and has kept going throughout the bust with the loss of so many jobs.
The trend underscores the state’s sour economy, as layoffs continue, the fiscal strain on government grows, and home values continue to decline.
While more births and rising international immigration helped boost California’s population a modest 1.16 percent last year, the state continued its steady stream of domestic out-migration – the movement of residents of one state to others.
Governor survives appeal to court
The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday denied an effort to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich, rejecting what could have been the quickest way to force the Democrat from office.
The court rejected without comment a challenge filed by state Attorney General Lisa Madigan, herself a top candidate for governor in 2010. It was unclear whether the court turned down the case on its merits or on procedural grounds.
The attorney general had asked the court to remove Blagojevich, arguing that his legal and political troubles prevented him from performing his duties.
Pay raises endorsed for state officials
A new state commission says the Alaska governor ought to get a $25,000 a year raise.
Asked to figure out how much Alaska should pay its top officials, the group recommends pay hikes for the lieutenant governor, department heads and legislators, too.
“We need the best people we can get to do some pretty tough jobs against some often incredibly well-financed, single-minded corporate and individual interests,” said Rick Halford, chairman of the new State Officers Compensation Commission.
Deciding how much to pay themselves is always a thorny proposition for politicians who answer to an ever-skeptical public.
Enter the new five-member commission, created by the Legislature earlier this year to take the decision out of lawmakers’ hands. The members are appointed by the governor – with two selected from lists recommended by legislative leaders.
The panel came up with a list of recommendations over the weekend and is looking for the public to weigh in at a meeting today in Anchorage.
Among the commission’s suggestions was raising the governor’s salary from $125,000 to $150,000.