The commission that regulates California legislators' salaries will consider a proposal Thursday that could slash lawmakers' pay by at least a quarter in less than a year.
The Governor's Office, which appoints the commissioners, is suggesting the panel won't necessarily vote immediately.
"Until we're out of this crisis, we all need to continue to cut back," said Aaron McLear, spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "We'll support whatever the commission decides to do, but it may be prudent to wait until the May revision (of the budget) to decide this issue."
Those are fighting words for some lawmakers, who are convinced these days that the governor is holding a pay cut over their heads until he gets the budget he wants.
"I'm not aware of the provision in the constitution that says the commission sets the legislators' salaries based on what the governor's budget proposal is," said Nathan Barankin, spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.
Some political veterans are also questioning whether the Citizens Compensation Commission is overstepping its bounds.
Former state Senate President Pro Tem David Roberti, who pushed creation of the California Citizens Compensation Commission in 1990 and saw his own pay rise as a result, said he may testify against further cuts at today's meeting in Burbank.
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