On politics in the Golden State
June 2, 2011 | 10:41 am

California lawmakers will start losing their pay in two weeks if they don’t make further progress in balancing the budget, says state Controller John Chiang.

Chiang, the state’s chief accountant, is citing a ballot measure voters approved in November in justifying his plan to dock legislators of their pay absent a balanced budget. His interpretation of the measure differs from that of legislative lawyers, who had previously opined that a budget bill lawmakers passed in March — which still left the state with a multibillion-dollar shortfall — met the conditions set by voters needed to keep salaries flowing once the Legislature’s June 15 deadline for passing the budget arrives.

Chiang ultimately writes the checks, so lawmakers would have to sue him to keep getting paid if they blow the deadline without closing the shortfall.

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