State Officials Could Lose Pay, Perks

The state's budget crisis is not only being felt by the little people. Next month California's elected officials could find their wallets a little lighter and their lives a little less perky.

The California Citizens Compensation Commission, a voter-approved board that is appointed by the governor, will hold its annual meeting in April and members are set to discuss the possibility of cutting salaries and eliminating state cars.

Chuck Murray, the chairman of the commission, told the Los Angeles Times that he believes elected officials should have their pay slashed by 12 percent, per diem expenses cut and have state-owned cars taken away.

"They have to share what everybody else in the state is going through," he told the paper. "We have a state budget that is out of control."

Two years ago the commission voted to reduce salaries from $116,208 to $95,291. But last year, members refused to cut salaries again after some politicians argued that further cuts would hurt the state's ability to attract top talent to run for office.

California is facing a $26 billion budget shortfall that Gov. Jerry Brown has been trying to cut. Brown has already taken small measures, such as taking away state-issued cell phones, swag and cars, to make a dent in the gap but more is needed.

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