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No budget, no pay! :-)

California state Controller, John Chiang, a Democrat, said today that California lawmakers will not be paid (or receive per diems) as of mid-June because the budget sent to Governor Jerry Brown (which Brown vetoed less than 24 hours later) was not balanced! The Legislature passed budget legislation on June 15, only THE SECOND TIME IN 25 YEARS that they met the deadline. According to one Bay Area TV station, the budget was unbalanced by about $2 billion. :-)

Chiang said today the budget passed by the Legislature was not sufficient to keep Legislators’ pay coming! Last November, voters passed a law that strips legislators of pay for every day that the budget is late. Although the law does not mention a BALANCED budget, other laws on the books specify that the budget must be balanced.

A lawsuit is expected over the issue. :-)

I have mentioned the following riddle before in this blog:

Q: Why are there so many toxic waste dumps in New Jersey and so many lawyers in California?

A: Jersey got first pick! :-)

Senate President Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), a lawyer, said yesterday that docking lawmakers’ pay would be a dangerous precedent. According to the LA Times:

“Governors and finance officials should not have the power to control the pay of 120 independently elected lawmakers simply because they don’t like what those lawmakers produce, he said.”

Mr. Steinberg mentions that the 120 lawmakers are independently elected (oh, by The People), but he seems to forget WHOM THEY SERVE (or maybe, whom they are SUPPOSED to serve). :-) I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe most Californians are DELIGHTED that the legislators, who cannot seem to do their jobs year after year, are finally suffering some of the financial loss that they have inflicted on so many others in the past – whether in the form of “furlough days” or getting paid with IOUs.

Maybe that is why Proposition 25 (a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment) was passed in the first place, not by the governor and finance officials, but by The People.

-Bill at

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