By Jim Sanders
jsanders@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

California’s Legislature would become part-time under a constitutional amendment proposed Friday by a Republican lawmaker and the head of a political watchdog group.

The measure calls for the nation’s most populous state to meet three months per year – and for lawmakers’ pay to be cut from $7,940 per month to $1,500 per month – or $18,000 annually.

Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield is teaming with Ted Costa of People’s Advocate in hopes of gathering 807,615 voter signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The proposal was filed Friday with the state attorney general’s office, a first step toward launching a campaign.

California has had a full-time Legislature since voter passage of a constitutional amendment in 1966.

Costa said the Legislature is dominated by advocates for organized labor and “if that’s the game you want to play, we’ll just send you home.”

“We’ll see if you can make it on $1,500 a month. … I imagine there will be an awful lot of crying in the Legislature when they realize this will be on the ballot,” Costa said.

John Vigna, spokesman for Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, said California has one of the world’s largest economies and deserves full-time leadership. He also took a jab at Grove’s job performance.

“This is an irresponsible proposal coming from someone who hasn’t put forward any real solutions to our long-term challenges,” Vigna said.

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