No Budget, No Pay Is Word to California Lawmakers

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2011 05:41 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
SAN FRANCISCO — There's no reward for a job poorly done, California lawmakers were told Tuesday as their wages and expense pay were suspended after passing a budget that did not "add up."

Controller John Chiang Tuesday said he was acting under terms of a law voters approved last year, the "On-Time Budget Act of 2010," to withhold lawmakers' pay if they miss a mid-June deadline for balancing the state's books.

Democrats pushed a budget through the legislature last week, but Gov. Jerry Brown, a fellow Democrat, vetoed the budget a day later, saying it was filled with "legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings" and didn't close a $10 billion gap.

Chiang on Tuesday vowed to withhold paychecks until lawmakers submit a balanced spending plan for the fiscal year that starts on July 1.

The deadline for lawmakers to submit a budget to Brown was June 15.

"My office's careful review of the recently passed budget found components that were miscalculated, miscounted or unfinished," Chiang, also a Democrat, 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," he said.

Assembly Speaker John Perez said Chiang's decision gives the legislature's Republican minority control of the budget process, since they have refused to vote for Brown's plans to put a temporary tax extension up to a popular vote.

Without any Republicans lending support for that, Democratic leaders said they opted to drop Brown's plan to try to push through their own budget last week.

California is notorious for late budgets. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the state's current budget last October, 100 days after it should have been in place.

Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College, said the loss of pay could act as a catalyst. "Withholding paychecks might lubricate discussions," he said.

A report released by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on the heels of Chiang's statement may also encourage California's leaders to bear down on the budget.

California's already low credit rating is at a "crossroad," S&P said.

A lengthy budget impasse extending into the new year could result in a "patchwork" budget similar to one Brown vetoed, S&P said, which "may lead us to lower the state's long-term rating depending upon the severity and duration of the cash crisis that we believe could precede it."

Legislators were quick to voice their discontent.

"Our state government right now reminds me of a troop of boys lost in the wilderness," Democrat Mike Gatto said in a statement.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Miss. Gov. Bryant: More Uninsured in State Due to Obamacare

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 21:13 PM

Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant blames Obamacare for the state's increase in the number of people without health . . .

Judge Rules Against LA Clippers' Sterling: Team Can Be Sold

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 21:08 PM

The record $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer i . . .

Montel Williams Skeptical of VA Deal, Still Calls for 'Surge'

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 20:48 PM

Montel Williams, who has been advocating for a VA Surge to clear the backlog of veterans needing healthcare, is skepti . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved