This vote came after California State University trustees gave two of its campus presidents 10-percent raises on Tuesday.
St. Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, sponsored the bill that the committee rejected.
The democrat argued that hefty raises have no place in a time of rising fees and enrollment freezes.
"In tough economic times or when you are increasing student fees and tuition that you ought not to, then you cannot give raises to top executives," said Yee.
CSU has raised tuition twice since the fall, the first time by more than 9.5 percent and then by another 12 percent.