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Brown appoints 26 in state reorganization
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SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has made 26 appointments as part of his reorganization of state government, which takes full effect this week as the new fiscal year begins.

The governor issued the announcement Monday evening for the midlevel bureaucrats, including deputy secretaries, deputy commissioners and deputy general counsels, who will be making between $45,000 and $150,120 a year. Of those, 19 will make salaries above $100,000.

None of the appointees is new to the administration. They either were promoted or received similar titles in their new departments or agencies.

The highest salary in the group went to Jan Owen, 61, a Democrat who was appointed commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight. She had served as commissioner of the California Department of Corporations since 2011. She received a $7,155 raise.

Owen was the subject of a story by The Associated Press in 2012 after Brown appointed her to head the department that oversees banking, financial and consumer regulations. She had previously led a trade association that fought against tighter restrictions on mortgage lenders before the subprime lending crisis erupted.

Her position requires Senate confirmation.

The lowest salary went to Ben De Alba, 26, who will serve as assistant secretary for rail and ports at the California State Transportation Agency. De Alba, a Democrat, had been special assistant at the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency since last year. His position does not require Senate confirmation. He received an $8,000 raise.

Besides Owen and De Alba, four others received raises for taking on additional responsibilities and expanded roles at new agencies, according to the governor's office.

Melissa Figueroa, 32, received the largest raise, a $35,000 increase, for becoming deputy secretary of communications at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Her salary is $110,004. Figueroa previously served in the same capacity at the California State and Consumer Services Agency.

Brown has said the changes will streamline government and could save money in the long run. He appointed three new secretaries last week as the state prepared to reduce the number of government agencies from 12 to 10, putting departments with related functions together.

For example, the reconfigured Transportation Agency now will include the Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol, CalTrans and the California High-Speed Rail Authority. A new Government Operations Agency will centralize contracting, technology and human resource functions.

Businesses and professionals licensed by the state will be overseen by the new Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, which consolidates two current agencies.