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Assemblyman Says He's Being Punished For Voting Against Budget

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 11, 2011

Portantino says he voted against the budget because he didn't like the cuts to higher education or the plan to shift thousands of inmates from prisons to county jails.  Now he's received a letter from the Rules Committee notifying him his office budget is being slashed - and his staff will be put on unpaid leave for more than a month.  He says he expected a reprimand - but not this:

Portantino: "The tradition of the house has been to go after the member.  Never do you go after the district or after the hard-working men and women who serve the district.  This is unprecedented."

Skinner: "Bit paranoid."

That's Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, who sent the letter.  She says they monitor all members' expenditures- and Portantino was warned weeks before the budget vote that he was spending too much:

Skinner: "Let's just take this hypothetically.  If every member of the Assembly were about to go over budget the way he's projected, we would be five million in arrears at the end of the year."

Portantino has asked the committee to reconsider its action. He has until Friday to submit a new office budget. 
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