LOS ANGELES (CBS) — State Assemblyman Gil Cedillo is a man on a mission, pushing ahead with his crusade to overturn 18-percent pay cuts for state lawmakers.
The cuts that were approved by the state Compensation Commission in 2009 reduced the pay for assembly members from more than $116,000 a year to slightly over $95,000.
The question – at a time when California has hit the skids, why is Cedillo pushing so hard to overturn a pay cut for well-paid state lawmakers and demand that back cuts be refunded?
Cedillo says it’s not about the money, but upholding a Constitutional principle. His critics say, that’s nonsense.
“We cannot be flip about this. This is about the Democratic will, the people of California,” Cedillo said.
Cedillo claims he is fighting to protect democracy and accused former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of bullying the Compensation Commission into cutting lawmakers salaries, violating the legal separation of powers.
But the Executive Director of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says it’s all about the money.
“It’s the highest paid in the nation by far even though they’ve taken a pay cut. They’re over $95,000 a year plus over $150 a day plus another $40,000 towards a car,” Kris Vosburgh said.
This week, the Compensation Commission did not uphold Cedillo’s objection, clearing the way for the case to go to court if Cedillo wants to pursue it.
On Friday, he said he hasn’t made a final decision yet, but will consult with his attorneys and make that call soon.