Lawmakers docked pay for failing to pass budget

SACRAMENTO - State controller John Chiang announced this week that his office will withhold the pay of state legislators until they propose a balanced budget.Voters approved a referendum last November that lowered the vote requirement for passing a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority. It also forfeits legislators' pay and living expenses incurred from June 16 until "the day that the budget bill is presented to the Governor." Democratic lawmakers agreed on a budget deal last week, but it was quickly vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. "My office's careful review of the recently-passed budget found components that were miscalculated, miscounted or unfinished," said Chiang. "The numbers simply did not add up, and the Legislature will forfeit their pay until a balanced budget is sent to the governor." According to the L.A. Times, lawmakers will forfeit about $400 per day. Majority Leader Charles Calderon, who represents much of Downey in the state Assembly, told the Times that Chiang was "playing to the headlines." "He's now focused all the attention on himself so he'll have the next political move to become governor," Calderon told the newspaper. According to Chiang, his office's analysis of the vetoed budget included a budget deficit of $1.85 billion and underfunded education by more than $1.3 billion.

********** Published: June 23, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 10