Five Percent Pay Cut OK’d for Governor and Lawmakers

The California Citizens Compensation Commission approved a 5 percent pay cut on May 31 for lawmakers and statewide office holders.

On a 5 to 1 vote, the seven-member commission reduced legislative pay from $95,290 to $90,525.

California legislators would remain the highest paid in the nation.

At $82,026, Pennsylvania lawmakers are the second highest paid. New York is third at $79,500.

“We understand times are still tough and California needs difficult cuts and new revenues to solve the remaining budget deficit,” said Assembly Speaker John Perez, a Los Angeles Democrat.  

“Since the Legislature has already taken an 18 percent pay cut, which is still in place while furloughs for state workers have ended, we believe the commission’s cut is punitive and ignores the size and complexity of the job and the facts regarding comparable legislative bodies. We also would hate to see a system where only the personally wealthy can afford to serve.”

California lawmakers, receive no pensions, but are paid per diem of more than $30,000 annually to cover their living expenses.  Those who live more than 50 miles from the Capitol pay no taxes on their per diem.

The salary cut will take effect Dec. 3 when the new session of the Legislature begins.

Last year, the commission ordered lawmakers to turn in their taxpayer-funded cars and gas cards. They now receive a monthly $300 transportation allowance.

The commission’s 18 percent cut referenced by Perez occurred in 2009.

Statewide office holders have varied salaries, the governor being the highest paid at nearly $174,000.

The commission’s action lowers his salary to roughly $165,000.

Voters created the commission to set legislative and statewide officeholder pay in 1990 when they approved Proposition 112. 


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