Judge: Controller Wrong to Block Lawmakers' Pay in
In a tentative ruling Tuesday ahead of Wednesday's court date,
a California judge says Controller John Chiang was out of line when
he docked state lawmakers' pay last year for passing a budget
Chiang decided was unbalanced.
This story starts a couple of years ago, when California
voters approved Proposition 25. That measure reduced the
requirement for passing a state budget from two-thirds of each
legislative chamber to a simple majority. It also included a
clause the measure's Democratic backers hoped would clinch the
initiative's passage: If lawmakers failed to pass a budget by the
June 15th constitutional deadline, they would lose their pay until
a spending plan was approved.
So when Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the budget Democrats
passed last year and called it unbalanced, Controller John Chiang
blocked lawmakers' pay. He cited the constitutional
requirement for a balanced budget. Democratic legislative
leaders sued Chiang - and now a Sacramento County judge is calling
the Controller's action an "unwarranted intrusion" into the
legislative branch of government.
State Employee Pay Cap Falls One Vote
A bill that would prevent most state employees from earning
more than the governor has stalled in the California
Despite support from one Democratic lawmaker, Republican
Senator Joel Anderson's measure fell a single vote shy in its
second committee test.
Anderson says more than 9,000 state workers were paid more
than Governor Jerry Brown's $173,000 salary last year - and given
the state's budget problems, that's not right.
Anderson: "As long as we
continue to give lav - when I say we, I mean, not me, but my
colleagues, and the governor - continue to give lavish salaries to
bureaucrats, I don't know how I could ever possibly face any
Californian and say that they aren't doing their fair share with
Anderson says his bill would exempt public safety employees
because they're required to work overtime. The measure also
would not apply to the University of California, because the UC
system's self-governance is constitutionally protected.
Brown Coy on Death Penalty Initiative
Governor Brown isn't tipping his hand on how he'll vote on the
newly-qualified November ballot measure that would overturn the
Brown: "The voters are going to
have to decide. But I will tell you this, and this is my
pledge: Whatever the voters decide, you can be sure I will carry
out the law without fear or favor, and with fidelity to the will of
The governor spoke at an annual rally at the state Capitol
Tuesday for crime victims sponsored by leading supporters of the
death penalty. Before he spoke, he listened as speaker after
speaker criticized the initiative that qualified Monday.
Earlier in the day, he told reporters in San Jose that it's a
"good thing" the measure will be on the ballot because it's a "very
important issue." He went on to say that "death and taxes are
things we can't avoid, so it's good that people get to weigh in