January 3, 2011 (Sacramento) – Just before leaving office, outgoing Governor Arnold Scharzenegger yesterday appointed State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth to a lucrative $128,000 a year position on the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta), whose district included San Diego’s East County, left office due to term limits.
The panel hears appeals of unemployment insurance benefit cases, but the board seats have commonly been used to provide jobs for unemployed ex-legislators. Hollingsworth's appointment, along with the apointment of former State Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) both require confirmation by the State Senate.
Hollingsworth served in the Legislature for a decade, including a stint as Senate Minority Leader. As a member of the Legislature, Hollingsworth authored legislation that sought to raise the age of retirement for state workers and require longer service to collect full pensions. Now that is he a state worker, it’s unclear whether that opinion may change.
However Hollingsworth, 43, may not be planning to stick around for very long on the panel. The Riverside Press Enterprise reports that he has established a campaign committee to run for the Assembly in 2012.