Sunday, June 19, 2011 – 08:40 a.m.

Last weeks on-time passage of another smoke and mirrors state budget was embarrassing.

A stunt clearly designed to circumvent voter approved stoppage of legislator pay.

A part of the charade was the veto of the so-called budget by Governor Jerry Brown.

The final part of the scheme was Senate President Darrell Steinberg.

Steinberg expressed anger at the Brown veto. He said he’s going to show Brown. You see, Steinberg says he’s not going to allow any of Brown’s appointments requiring Senate confirmation to be voted on.

There’s only one problem with Steinberg’s threat.

Guess how many Brown appointments are currently awaiting confirmation?

Yes, only one person is awaiting confirmation!

Boy, Steinberg is really going to show Brown who is boss.

Of course it’s just posturing to get that paycheck.

But you don’t hear republicans crying to much either. After all, they want to get paid too.

Right??

But, what should come into play here is voter intent.

When voters enacted the pay restrictions on the legislature for not passing a budget by June 15, they meant a balanced budget.

Not a shame budget designed solely to circumvent the will of the people.

Now the decision whether to pay or not rests with on Controller John Chiang.

Chiang must decide if the legislature complied with California law.

Chiang may have already made the case for denying pay to the legislature by publicly stating the budget, passed solely by democrats, carried a structural deficit of $8 billion.

So the question here is did California voters intend for the legislature to merely pass a budget or a pass a balanced budget.

Chiang should do the right thing here and deny the pay, but he likely will go along.

After all there’s really no political consequence for him personally.