SACRAMENTO -- The nation's highest paid Legislature is getting another pay cut, and the Assembly leader isn't happy -- even as he and other legislators mull over pay cuts to state workers.

The California Citizens Compensation Commission cut the pay of lawmakers and the governor by 5 percent Thursday, on top of the 18 percent pay cut they received in 2009.

That leaves legislators with a base pay of $90,526 -- down from $95,291 now and $116,000 three years ago.

The governor's salary will be set at $165,288, down from $173,987. It was $212,179 three years ago, though then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger settled for $1 a year.

The governor wants to impose "on public employees the same salary reduction," said Charles Murray, the commission member who proposed the cuts. "This may not make a dent in the deficit, but we have to send a message."

The pay cuts will take effect Dec. 3. Legislators will retain their $142 per diem pay for living expenses, but in recent years they've also lost the use of state-bought cars and other perks.

"We believe the commission's cut is punitive and ignores the size and complexity of the job and the facts regarding comparable legislative bodies," said Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles. "We also would hate to see a system where only the personally wealthy can afford to serve."

But Gov. Jerry Brown said he has no problem seeing his salary reduced, especially as he negotiates with labor unions about his proposed 5 percent pay cut to state employees.

"Look, I'd run for governor whether it was a paid job or not," Brown told this newspaper Thursday. "I derive a lot of psychic income."

Brown wants state employees to work four 9.5-hour days a week, but is also considering alternatives that would provide $400 million in cuts to the state workforce.

"We're not there yet,'' Brown said. "We have a lot of difficult discussions ahead."

Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, on Thursday tweeted that legislators should take their lumps when they're making hard budget cuts for others in a bad economy.

"If we are cutting the pay of public employees, we should not be exempt," Cannella said. "Lead by example."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101. Follow him at Twitter.com/ssharmon. Read the Political Blotter at IBAbuzz.com/politics.