Former State Speaker Still Getting Taxpayer Protection

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    SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 24: California State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) smiles as they finalize a solution to the state's budget problem July 24, 2009 in Sacramento, California. Governor Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders reached a budget deal Monday to close California's $26 billion budget gap. (Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

    Former Assembly Speaker Karen Bass is receiving state-paid protection services even though she no longer leads the house.
         
    Records show the state is paying for two sworn peace officers to share the duties of escorting Bass in Northern California, while two retired officers are paid by the hour to do the same in Southern California.

    State records also show the protection was provided while Bass missed 41 of 63 legislative sessions since March 1 during her run for Congress.

    Bass has declined to discuss whether she used the state-paid protection during campaign events leading up to the June 8 primary.

    California does provide to some top elected officials, including Assembly Speaker John Perez, but doesn't always provide security for a former legislative leader.

    Bass stepped down as Assembly chief in March.