California panel cuts state legislators' allowances 18 percent

SACRAMENTO — The California Citizens Compensation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to cut state legislators' monthly car allowances, fringe benefits and their per diem allowance by 18 percent.

The cuts will begin as of Dec. 1 -- a year earlier than pay cuts the panel recently imposed. Chief legislative counsel Bill Curtis warned the five-member commission that they did not have the authority to regulate members' per diem allowances, which are about $173 each day the Senate or Assembly meets.

The 18 percent cuts in benefits, per diem and cars also apply to constitutional officers of the state. The action follows and earlier vote to cut lawmakers' and state elected officials pay by 18 percent effective Dec. 1, 2010.

Kathy Sands, a former Auburn mayor, said the amount of per diem legislators are entitled to is "unjustifiable."

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