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Controller John Chiang has restored lawmaker pay dating back to Tuesday, the day of the budget passage, according to spokeswoman Hallye Jordan.

Rank-and-file lawmakers lost salary and living expenses of about $4,830 over 12 days. Chiang ruled last week that he would stop pay dating back to June 16 under his interpretation of Proposition 25, which voters approved last year to block legislative pay for late budgets and reduce the budget vote threshold from two-thirds to majority.

In his June 21 analysis, Chiang cited seven problems with the previous Democratic budget, particularly a $1.3 billion underfunding of K-12 schools and community colleges. He also said lawmakers had not passed all of the bills necessary to implement their plan. He determined that it was not balanced, and therefore, not sufficient to maintain pay.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new version of the Democratic majority-vote budget Thursday, and Chiang deemed the governor's signature good enough to reinstate lawmakers' pay.

It is not clear that lawmakers approved all of the bills to implement their plan this time. And Brown himself had yet to sign some of the major ones on his desk as of 3:30 p.m.

But Chiang does not believe he can weigh in once the governor signs the main budget bill, according to the Controller's Office. That's because the governor's Department of Finance makes its own assessment for budget balance when he signs the main budget legislation, Senate Bill 87.

PHOTO CREDIT: The California state Capitol in Sacramento, Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008. Michael Allen Jones / Sacramento Bee file photo



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