Nevada AG willing to take 6 percent voluntary salary cut

By Chris Rizo | Jan 23, 2009

Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says if state workers are forced to take a pay cut to help the state make ends meet, she will also take a 6 percent pay reduction, her office said Friday.

Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons has called for salary cuts as the state grapples with a growing budget shortfall. He called on the state's constitutional officers to voluntarily cut their pay by six percent.

The attorney general has said she is willing to give up 6 percent of her $133,000 annual salary if the Democrat-led state Legislature adopts the governor's cost-saving recommendation.

In a statement to Legal Newsline, Masto called the governor's proposal "a short term solution to a long-term budget problem." She said the plan is "shortsighted and fails to contribute to a sustainable fiscal policy" for Nevada.

"If the Legislature chooses to cut state employees salaries by 6 percent then I would be willing to stand in their shoes," Masto said.

The attorney general and the state's other constitutional officers -- the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller and treasurer -- each received 20 percent pay increases in 2007, the first time the respective office holders had been given a raise in six years.

For his part, Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Hardesty said he won't take a 6 percent pay cut. But he and Justice Ron Parraguirre have decided not to serve on the Supreme Court Law Library Commission, which pays $30,000 annually.

As a result, the two jurists will earn $140,000 a year, or 18 percent less than the other five justices are paid.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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