Economy

Schwarzenegger supports pay cuts for California Legislature

An independent commission that sets salaries for state officers is about to impose a 10 percent pay cut for members of the Legislature and statewide elected officials from the governor on down.

The pay cuts appeared all but certain Wednesday after a harried series of events that began when the California Citizens Compensation Commission fell one vote shy of ordering the salary reductions starting late next year.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger promptly declared support for the pay cuts – and immediately appointed three additional commission members to help pass them.

Members of the compensation commission voted 3-1 in favor of the 10 percent pay cut Wednesday morning. But the reduction for elected officials couldn't take effect because the seven-member panel needed four votes to pass the motion. Three board vacancies had yet to be filled.

But later on Wednesday, Schwarzenegger filled the vacant seats with two Republicans, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. John Stites and executive search firm partner Scott Somers, and one Democrat, Denita Willoughby, a vice president of external affairs for AT&T.

He said his appointees "share my belief that state government needs to cut back just like every California family and business is doing."

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