Lawmakers Get Hefty Pay Cut

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

18 percent.  That’s how much the Citizens Compensation Commission voted to slash elected officials’ salaries….though it won’t affect current lawmakers; their pay can’t be changed mid-term:

“Everybody has to share the pain.”

Charles Murray is Chairman of group, which is responsible for setting salaries.  The group voted recently to cut elected officials’ pay by ten percent, but didn’t have enough members to make the vote official.  So Governor Schwarzenegger quickly appointed a few more.  Murray says they increased the cut to 18 percent because the state’s deficit grew to 21 billion dollars after voters rejected most of the special election ballot measures.  He says it was a fair – but tough decision:

“I mean this isn’t fun, believe thee me.  I’m sure all of us would have much rather gone in the meeting and given 20% pay raises.”

Legislators’ base pay is currently about 116-thousand dollars a year.  The Commission’s decision comes on the heels of voters approving a measure to ban pay raises for legislators when the state has a budge deficit.