And that may be why Assemblyman Anthony J. Portantino, D-La CaÃ±ada Flintridge, is brave enough to introduce a bill that would prohibit any pay raises, overtime pay, or other increase in compensation for state workers who earn more than $150,000 a year.
Portantino's bill, which would remain in effect "until the economy recovers," would nevertheless let the governor make exemptions to the salary freeze for his powerful political allies - police officers and firefighters.
The exemption would allow pay raises for workers "necessary for protecting the safety and security of the people of California," but he'd still have explain their need.
Portantino says his AB 53 would even apply to legislative and gubernatorial staff.
The Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee will take a look at his bill next Wednesday morning.
The hearing will be held at 9:30 A.M. at the Capitol, Room 444.