Botched Budget Means No Pay for Calif. Lawmakers

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California's controller has halted the paychecks of 120 state lawmakers until they approve a balanced budget plan.

The rare move by Controller John Chiang comes after Democratic lawmakers used a simple majority vote on June 15 to pass a spending measure, meeting a voter-approved deadline.

But Chiang, also a Democrat, said the measure wasn't balanced, noting it spent $1.85 billion more than it collected in taxes and fees.

He explained that under Proposition 25, the legislature didn't meet the requirement for getting paid since their plan didn't create enough revenue.
 
"The numbers simply did not add up," he said.

Legislators, outraged by Chiang's decision, suggested the move was politically motivated.

"I halted a fulfilling private sector career path to enter public service. I now have to explain to my wife and daughter that we won't be able to pay the bills because a politician chose to grandstand at our expense," Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, said.
    
Lawmakers will start receiving their salaries and expenses once they pass a balanced budget but won't be paid for the days the budget was late.

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