State Lawmakers Should Not Fight Pay Cut

November 06, 2009
Contact: Rodney Foo @ (408) 282-8920

Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr. said today he opposes attempts to stop a Citizens Compensation Commission ruling that cuts legislators’ pay, per diem, and car allowances by 18 percent.

“I disagree with the legal challenge to overturn the compensation commission’s decision,’’ Beall said. “We have a process that has been set up to regulate legislators’ pay and we should abide by it.’’

Beall said the filing seeking a state attorney general’s opinion ostensibly to overturn the commission’s ruling was ‘‘disgusting’’ considering the tenor of the times -- record unemployment, worker furloughs, and cuts to education and services to the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities.

“Unfortunately, some people at the Capitol don’t get it,’’ Beall said. “We need to restore trust in state government. This legal challenge sends the wrong message. I don’t know what it’s going to take but you’d think our approval rating being at an all-time low would be enough.

“Yes, legislators make many sacrifices both monetarily and in time away from their families. But millions of Californians are making even greater sacrifices in this vicious economy and Sacramento must lead by example. In life, perceptions can shape reality. We need to be sensitive to that.

“All I can say is  I think the legal challenge is wrong and irrelevant to me. Even if it’s overturned, I’m not taking the money. My wife, son, and I will make cuts in our household budget just like every other family in California. I came here as a public servant because I want to help people, not get rich.’’