Wednesday, June 22, 2011

California stops lawmakers' wages until budget balances

Californians are fed up with legislators missing the annual budget deadline

Elected representatives in California have been told their wages and expenses have been stopped and they will not be paid until the state budget balances.

State Controller John Chiang took the step after determining that the budget approved last week was not balanced.

It is the first time a law brought in last year, to stop California constantly missing its annual budget deadline, has been brought into effect.

Mr Chiang's decision sparked sharp criticism from legislators.

It is often said if the state of California was a country it would be the eighth biggest economy in the world.

But with a $10bn deficit to match, and residents fed up of legislators missing the annual budget deadline by months, they voted for a new law.

It is the first time Proposition 25 has been put into effect - and it means all 120 elected members of the State Assembly and Senate will not be paid their wages, or their living allowances, until they pass a balanced budget.

There was obvious uproar from the legislators. (read more)