Jerry BrownSACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown will see his $184,301 annual salary cut if the leader of a citizens committee that sets state officials' pay and benefits has his way.
The California Citizens Compensation Commission on Tuesday asked its legal counsel for an opinion on whether the commission had the authority to reduce salaries of the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, legislators and other state elected officials.
Charles Murray, chairman of the seven-member panel, said more should be done than just freezing officials' salaries at a time when the state is facing a $16 billion revenue shortfall.
For his part, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed across-the-board budget cuts to help the Golden State balance its books amid plummeting revenues.
The Compensation Commission will meet as early as next month to consider the pay cuts.
Ted Costa, CEO of People's Advocate, a Sacramento-based watchdog group, told Legal Newsline that he has long called on the commission to cut elected officials' salaries.
Costa said the panel needs to trim officials' paychecks by even a dollar "just to show they have the power to do it."
He said the commission has the power to lower salaries just as it can increase them.
"They just need to do it," Costa said.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.