Chiang says he'll appeal ruling on lawmakers' pay

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 3, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4A

State Controller John Chiang will appeal a judge's ruling that he does not have authority to withhold lawmakers' pay in cases in which the Legislature passes a budget that Chiang finds is unbalanced.

The appeal, to be filed with the 3rd District Court of Appeal, reopens a dispute between Chiang and Democratic legislative leaders, who sued Chiang after he blocked their pay for 12 days last year.

The Democratic controller filed a notice of appeal in Sacramento Superior Court on Monday.

At issue is an interpretation of voter-approved Proposition 25, which requires lawmakers to pass a budget by June 15 or go unpaid. Sacramento Superior Court Judge David I. Brown ruled it was within the Legislature's power – not Chiang's – to determine whether the budget it passed is balanced.

Chiang spokeswoman Hallye Jordan said Brown's ruling "flies in the face of the voters' will, which was to hold lawmakers accountable for late, unbalanced budgets by docking their pay when they miss the constitutional deadline."

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