The California Citizens Compensation Commission met in Sacramento yesterday to discuss cutting pay for California’s elected officials. A 5 percent pay cut was approved by the independent commission and will be taking effect in December of this year. California Governor Jerry Brown, members of the legislature, and all statewide officeholders will all be subject to the new cut.
In what can be seen as a symbolic gesture by the Commission, which approved the proposed cut 5-1, the State of California is expected to save approximately $650,000 a year. Unfortunately, that number is still far short of the amount needed to fix the state’s projected budget deficit which comes in at a whopping $16 billion.
The latest round of cuts by the pay panel comes at a time when the Governor and Legislators are suffering from abysmal voter approval ratings. According to recent polls, Californians are not particularly thrilled with the continued lag in the economy and place blame squarely on the elected officials who have failed to provide solutions.
In a similar move earlier last year, the panel voted to eliminate Legislator car privileges, which were often a point of contention for those that knew of the perk’s existence. Although a popular move with the public, it has yet to be seen whether the move may actually end up costing the state even more money when the cost of gas mileage reimbursement is factored in.
The supporters of the cuts argue the changes make sense, especially when so many families are having to tighten their belts.