Calif. lawmakers: no budget, no pay

June 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM

SACRAMENTO, June 3 (UPI) -- California will start docking legislator's salaries in two weeks if a balanced budget isn't reached, the state controller said.

Controller John Chiang said Thursday a November state ballot measure mandates he withhold pay for lawmakers unless they approve a balanced spending plan by June 15 as outlined by the California Constitution.

State Senate lawyers see it differently, citing a March budget bill -- leaving California with an approximate $11 billion shortfall -- that they say meets conditions for them to receive their pay. But, as the Los Angeles Times reported Friday, Chiang holds the checkbook.

"In passing Proposition 25 last November, voters clearly stated they expect their representatives to make the difficult decisions needed to resolve any budget shortfalls by the mandatory deadline, or be penalized," Chiang said in a statement. "I will enforce the voters' demand."

Gov. Jerry Brown agreed with Chiang, saying it would pressure the Legislature to move forward in budget negotiations.

"Of course they shouldn't get paid" if the budget is not on time, Brown said at a National Guard ceremony in Sacramento.

"Maybe we'll get our budget," he said. "That's the purpose" of the measure.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kim Jong Un had terrapin farm manager executed, says source
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report
North Korea requests medical aid from U.N. agencies
Encroaching sea levels endanger Pakistan's Indus Delta
Kenyan bishop warns Obama against pro-gay policy