Controller Halts Pay For California Lawmakers

SACRAMENTO (AP) — California state Controller John Chiang announced Tuesday he was halting pay for state lawmakers, saying their budget plan was not balanced and did not meet the state’s requirement for getting paid.

KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman Reports

Chiang issued his decision after conducting an analysis of the budget package pushed through by Democratic lawmakers last week on a simple majority vote. Lawmakers said they believed that action allowed them to continue receiving paychecks, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the package, saying he didn’t want to see billions more in borrowing or questionable maneuvers.

107428376 Controller Halts Pay For California Lawmakers

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)


Chiang, whose office issues paychecks, found the package did not meet the constitutional requirements for a balanced budget.

“My office’s careful review of the recently passed budget found components that were miscalculated, miscounted or unfinished,” Chiang said in a statement. “The numbers simply did not add up, and the Legislature will forfeit their pay until a balanced budget is sent to the governor.”

Under Proposition 25, a voter-passed initiative aimed at approving budgets on time, lawmakers don’t get paid their salary or living expenses if they miss the deadline.

Each day California taxpayers save $48,603.50 by not paying lawmakers a salary and per diem. For lawmakers who earn $95,291 a year, that works out to $261 less for each day their salary is cut.

For leaders of the Senate and Assembly who make $109,584, that works out to $300 per day.

Most lawmakers also lose out on a $162 per diem for travel and living expenses.

Lawmakers said they were disappointed by the controller’s decision.

“The controller is, in effect, allowing legislative Republicans to control the budget process and I believe that’s a very unfortunate outcome that is inconsistent with the intent of Proposition 25,” Assembly Speaker John Perez said in a statement.

Currently the controller’s office is sitting on one week’s worth of per diem checks. The Senate is claiming about $40,000 owed to 37 senators, according to a copy of the claim released by the Senate.

The Assembly has not released its claim for last week.

The leader of the Senate had warned Monday that for Chiang to decide whether lawmakers passed a balanced budget sets a bad example for the state’s balance of power.

“I think it is a bad precedent … for anybody in the executive branch to question the quality of a budget passed by the Legislature. Because to do so shifts the balance of powers in what is supposed to be coequal branches of government in a way that I think is dangerous,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Astonished says:

    So, the Legislature is disappointed. Well I find it hillarious! Their tactic blew up in their face. Maybe if they’d sit down and do their job the way it was intended, instead of with smoke and mirrors, their pay wouldn’t get suspended.

    Too bad it’s going to take a while before they feel the pinch. Unlike most of california’s middle class taxpayers. They’ve been getting pinched to death for two years!

  2. greg says:

    The law was passed and they knew the results so they tried to cram something in by the deadline JUST to get paid, didn’t care that it was bad for the state, and that’s civil service? Won’t even get into the $162 a day to feed themselves, $40k a year to pay for their lunches and gas so they can NOT do their jobs, for anyone as old as me (50) what we have seen happen to our country is truly sad, and I mean BOTH dems and republicans, it’s become what can I take for myself b4 I get booted out. Really unfortunate for the entire country.

  3. Mark Morris says:

    Holly “C**P” something finally works in my state

  4. Maury says:

    Cut the pay of all these low-lifes for like six months and your budget will be balanced.

  5. Dottie says:

    CONGRATULATIONS JOHN CHIANG!!!! You did what we voted for and I salute you. Now maybe those idiots will get off their butts and work together instead of this “he said/she said” C**p.

    1. Ron says:

      I’d almost vote for John Chiang, if HE ran for office. He seems like he is 1 of the very few in government, besides Wendy Gruel(L.A.), that is honest and actually does there job.

      But Dottie, don’t hold your breath, because those idiots will try another lame scheme, just for their money.

  6. Really says:

    You gotta love this guy, Chiang. I think he’s one of the few people that really care.

  7. nevermind says:

    Hey speaker Perez. You think you can pull a slick one again in favor of your favorite constituents…not this time buddy!

  8. Iatola says:

    Don’t like it? Then just pass a balanced budget. While you’re at it, cut funding for the governor’s office as well as Chiang’s. lol. Make all the draconian cuts the Republicans want and you’ll see Brown fill his pants with brown.

  9. Chaing for Gov says:

    Chiang for Governor!!! Suck it you unacountable dillweeds

  10. Mike says:

    Good for Chiang!!!!!!I’m so tired of those low lifes from Suckramento not doing their jobs and still getting paid. Whats even worse is the so called budget they tried to pass….I hope the voters remember this BS when it comes time to vote again!

    1. Bob says:

      Unfortunately they won’t remember.

  11. Mike says:

    If we had an Asian president like this guy America would be in much better shape then it is.

  12. Duh! says:

    “budget package pushed through by Democratic lawmakers last week on a simple majority vote”

    The Democrats pushed this through.
    How can Assembly Speaker John Perez say it is the Republicans fault?

    “The controller is, in effect, allowing legislative Republicans to control the budget process and I believe that’s a very unfortunate outcome that is inconsistent with the intent of Proposition 25,” Assembly Speaker John Perez said in a statement.

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