Legislators still being paid for fake budget

by CalWatchdog Staff | June 25, 2012 7:40 pm

June [1]25, 2012

By John Seiler

If the California government followed its own laws, right now state legislators’ pay would be suspended. They would be applying for EBT cards.

According to Prop. 25, which voters passed in 2010,¬†the Legislature must pass a balanced budget by the June 15 deadline or legislators’ pay is suspended. They haven’t passed a balanced budget. But they’re still being paid.

That’s because a judge ruled[2] in April this year that their pay wrongly was suspended for a couple of days in 2011 by Controller John Chiang because the budget wasn’t balanced. But Chiang writes the checks. If he can’t suspend the legislators’ pay, who is supposed to enforce Prop. 25? The judge said only the Legislature itself could do so. It’s like saying traffic violators get to determine how much their fines are.

Prop. 25 was sold to voters because it dropped from two-thirds to a majority vote the threshold for passing a state budget; excepting only tax increases, which remain at the two-thirds level. Legislators then were supposed to be disciplined by the pay suspension threat.

But it turned out the whole thing was an elaborate con job on the voters.¬†Sacramento County Superior Court Judge David Brown, who dumped the pay suspension, if he was serious in his objections should have struck down the whole of Prop. 29. He didn’t. Judges, after all, depend on their pay, perks and pensions on the Legislature. And the courts have been facing severe budget cuts[3].

So the voters are turned once again into suckers. And the budget farce continues.

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://www.calwatchdog.com/2011/07/27/jerry-appoints-radical-to-supreme-court/no-justice-no-peace-bumper-sticker/
  2. a judge ruled: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/25/us-economy-california-budget-lawsuit-idUSBRE83N1I020120425
  3. facing severe budget cuts: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/california-budget-cuts-courts.html

Source URL: https://calwatchdog.com/2012/06/25/imaginary-budget-still-floating-in-the-ether/