Gov. Pete Wilson has quietly turned down a $6,000-a-year pay raise that would have gone into effect this month.
The California Citizens Compensation Commission, a seven-member panel appointed by Wilson, raised the official salaries of the governor and most other state elected officials by 5%, effective Dec. 1.
That action raised the official governor's salary from $120,000 to $126,000 a year.
But Wilson, like several other constitutional officers, turned down the increase.
"He believes that if you are going to articulate smaller government and fiscal discipline that you lead by example," said Sean Walsh, the governor's press secretary. "He is still committed to a tax cut and feels it would not be appropriate for taxpayers to boost his pay, when they should actually be able to keep the money for their own families."
In fact, at the start of the state's fiscal crisis in 1991, Wilson took a voluntary pay cut of about 5% and ordered his appointed staff to do the same. Instead of the $120,000 that he is entitled to under law, Wilson has been collecting $114,286 a year instead.
Because he has refused his pay raise, Wilson will continue to receive that salary, which is 9.3% below the salary set by the compensation panel.