Commentary: Maybe lawmakers' wages should be cut

Charles Murray, chairman of the Citizens Compensation Commission, made his point loudly last November when he and the commission pared legislators' salaries by 18 percent, and cut their living expenses and car allowances.

Legislators' pay had been $116,208, and fell to $95,291. He announced last week that the commission is contemplating another 10 percent cut, which would bring them down to about $85,762.

Too often, legislators live down to our lowest expectations of them. Their standing among voters cannot get much worse. It sat at 16 percent in the most recent surveys by the Field Poll and the Public Policy Institute of California.

But a salary of $95,000 is reasonable for a senator who represents roughly a million Californians, and an Assembly member whose districts include almost 500,000 people.

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