Commentary: California legislators are making more money than they deserve

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

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

Legislators have lived up to the poor expectations the public has of them, especially in their handling of the budget mess. Their approval rating sat at 16% in the most recent surveys by the Field Poll and the Public Policy Institute of California.

The question is whether a salary of $85,762 is reasonable for a senator who represents roughly a million Californians, and an Assembly member whose district includes almost 500,000 people.

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