Sybarites in Sacramento

Everyone else gets pruned but not California's lawmakers

After three years under the spending limits imposed by Proposition 13, California is at the frontier of government retrenchment. Medical clinics for the poor are shutting down, parks are going to seed and the state's far-flung highway system is in disrepair. Despite such cutbacks, a deficit of at least $75 million in this fiscal year's state budget looks likely. But forced austerity is not universal. California's state legislators have seen fit to spare one group from the draconian reductions: themselves. While the expenditures in real dollars on social services have decreased, the money...

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