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Assembly speaker calls controller's decision to cut off lawmakers' pay 'wrong'

June 21, 2011 | 12:39 pm

John Perez Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) said Tuesday that the state controller’s decision to dock lawmakers' pay was “wrong” and would swing the balance of power in budget talks toward Republicans.

“I continue to maintain that the Legislature met our constitutional duties in passing the budget last week,” Perez said of the plan approved by lawmakers last week and swiftly vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

But state Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, said Tuesday the plan did not meet the voter-approved threshold of passing a balanced budget by June 15, the constitutional deadline.

“The numbers simply did not add up," he said in a statement.

Perez said Chiang's decision to reject the Democratic budget plan is "in effect, allowing legislative Republicans to control the budget process and I believe that’s a very unfortunate outcome."

Chiang said that while he had no authority to judge the “honesty” of a budget, it is his job to “to be the honest broker of the numbers” and he said the Democrats’ plan had an imbalance of $1.85 billion.

Perez, in a written statement, said that “in the coming days” Democrats would “be taking additional budget action informed by the controller’s analysis.”

The new fiscal year begins July 1.


Controller says he won’t pay legislators

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

Photo: Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), left, talks with Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) at the Capitol on Monday. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press