Panel slashes state leaders' pay by 5% in wake of proposed worker cuts
A state panel Thursday approved a 5% pay cut for Gov. Jerry Brown, the Legislature and other elected state officials two weeks after the governor proposed a similar reduction for rank-and-file state employees.
Elected officials should share the pain they are imposing on civil service workers, said Charles Murray, a member of the California Citizens Compensation Commission, the independent panel approved by voters to set salaries for the governor and legislators.
Murray said the cut may make only a dent in the budget deficit. "But, I think we will send a message that we have to ... get out of this hole; everybody has to sacrifice." The vote was 5-1, and the cut will kick in Dec. 3.
Faced with a nearly $16-billion budget deficit, Brown proposed earlier this month to reduce the workweek for many state employees to 38 hours as a way of cutting pay by 5%. State lawmakers are paid $95,291 annually, the highest base pay for legislators in the country.
The governor’s annual salary has been $173,987 annually.
The action of the panel, which is appointed by the governor, also reduces the pay for the lieutenant governor, controller, treasurer, secretary of state and members of the State Board of Equalization.
This is the second pay cut in three years. The commission sliced the pay of elected state officials by 18% in 2009 after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a similar reduction for other state employees.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown, pictured, and other elected state officials are having their pay cut by a state panel. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press