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California's legislators have seen their incomes go up and down in recent years due to decrees by the state's salary commission, but remain the highest paid in the nation, according to a new survey by Stateline, a Pew Charitable Trusts website.

With base salaries of $90,526 per year (leaders receive a bit more) and tax-free "per diem" payments of $141.86 per day, seven days a week as long as the Legislature is in session, California lawmakers' pay is approached only by salaries in No. 2 Pennsylvania, Stateline reports.

However, Stateline's data on California are a few months out of date. Last year, the California Citizens Compensation Commission voted to raise legislators' base salaries to $95,291 effective last December and is contemplating raising them again this year.

Legislators' pay in the Stateline report ranges downward to zero in New Mexico, although its lawmakers do receive $159 per day for living expenses.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown leaves the Assembly floor after he delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Jan. 22, 2014 at the State Capitol. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua


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