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Politics

To Pay Or Not To Pay: Controller Says No ‘Authority’ To Challenge Budget Vote

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California state controller John Chiang (R) looks on as California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a briefing on California's state budget . (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California state controller John Chiang (R) looks on as California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a briefing on California’s state budget . (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — One day after a dramatic — and ultimately overturned — vote to cut California’s $9.6 billion deficit, both sides of the political aisle in Sacramento were wondering the same thing on Friday: where’s my money?

State legislators risked getting their pay suspended had they not passed a balanced budget before June 15 as now required by law.

But Brown vetoed the bills after the Legislature passed measures that would have cut more than $500 million from state programs, including $3 billion less than Brown himself called for in his own budget plan.

Now, as KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports, state controller John Chiang will likely decide whether the legislators should get paid — a decision he says he may not even be able to enforce.

“Right now, I do not have the constitutional authority to say that that budget is not real,” said Chiang .

In the interim, lawmakers are expected to receive their paychecks until otherwise notified.

According to Chiang, the state has “sufficient cash for the foreseeable future” and officials are taking every necessary action to keep California from defaulting on its debt.

Brown said on Thursday he vetoed the proposed budget over what he called “legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings”.

He also warned Republicans that they will have to answer for any future “destructive” cuts to schools and public safety.

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