Lawmakers sue over docked pay

Jan. 25, 2012 at 7:55 AM
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SACRAMENTO, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Democratic lawmakers in California have filed suit against the state controller for docking their pay last summer after they failed to pass a balanced budget.

The suit filed in Sacramento County Superior Court does not seek any monetary reimbursement but instead asks the court to prevent Controller John Chiang from doing it again this year, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Chiang, a Democrat, said California voters gave him the authority to dock lawmakers' pay when they approved a 2010 constitutional amendment permitting punishment if a budget is not passed by the June 15 deadline.

At issue in the lawmakers' suit is whether the controller has the ability to declare the Legislature's budget unsound.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, told a news conference Tuesday that the controller should not have the right on his own to decide whether a budget is sound.

Chiang said he welcomes a court review of his authority.

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