There’s a lot of consternation at the California State Capitol over the Controller’s decision to withhold lawmakers’ pay.
Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield says Controller John Chiang’s move sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches.
“It really sets up a constitutional crisis in many ways,” says Blumenfield.
He says it also presents future legal complications. “For example, what happens when the governor signs the budget? Does the governor then have to go to the controller and say, does this pass prop. 25? I mean, it sets up a ludicrous precedent.”
Proposition 25 is the voter-approved law that requires lawmakers to forfeit their pay after June 15th if they haven’t passed a budget.
Republican Senator Sam Blakeslee applauds Chiang’s decision. He says such action will return accountability to the budget process.