Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Nobody knows if lawmakers are receiving pay today.

State Controller John Chiang said this afternoon he must still analyze the budget bills to determine whether lawmakers met the voter-approved requirement to pass a budget by June 15 to get paid.

"I will move quickly to complete our analysis of whether the budget bills passed Wednesday meet the constitutional definition, or fall short, which would require my office to forfeit their pay under Proposition 25," Chiang said. "We are awaiting the final budget bill language before we begin our examination. In addition, we have asked the Department of Finance, which tracks and tallies the Legislature's budget activities, for data to inform our decision."

Most lawmakers receive $95,291 per year in salary and $142 per day in living and travel expenses. Under Proposition 25, those payments must stop on June 16 if lawmakers have not sent the governor a budget. Lawmakers, like most other state workers, receive their paychecks once a month. They are due to be paid June 30.

Chiang made a forceful statement earlier this month that lawmakers must not only send the governor a budget on time, but one that is balanced. Democratic leaders said Thursday they had met that requirement regardless of Gov. Jerry Brown's veto.

"We clearly met the obligation to pass a balanced, on-time budget," Speaker John A. Pérez said. "What's at issue right now is more important than pay. What's at issue right now is creating economic stability for the state of California that's essential."

Yet the governor said that the Democratic budget was "not a balanced solution" and was "not financeable," meaning not good enough to borrow against. And state Treasurer Bill Lockyer said the budget fell short of allowing the state to meet its cash needs throughout the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Brown left it up to Chiang to decide the pay issue.

"In our system of government we have a separation of powers, even within the executive branch, so this is really the controller's call in the first instance, and then ultimately probably the courts," Brown told reporters in Los Angeles. "But I would say this: We have a chance to get this budget done in a very balanced and powerful way, and every day between now and certainly the end of the month, every legislator ought to be doing that and nothing else."

Despite saying he could not rule yet on the pay decision, Chiang praised Brown for vetoing the Democratic budget.

"I support the Governor's decision today to call upon legislators - from both parties - to try again," he said.

There is no requirement that the governor sign the budget in order for legislators to get paid under Proposition 25.

One interesting note: Lawmakers agreed in 2009 to delay paychecks to state workers by one day, June 30 to July 1, as a onetime budget gimmick saving the state $800 million. But that delay never applied to lawmakers, who are still due their checks on June 30, according to Chiang's office.

David Siders contributed to this report from Los Angeles.



FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

More Capitol Alert

Capitol Alert on Twitter

Popular Categories

Now on sacbee.com/politics

Categories


November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Monthly Archives


Latest California Clips