Ruling Undermines Measure Blocking Lawmakers’ Pay

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A judge’s tentative decision siding with state lawmakers appears to undermine a voter-approved law that bans lawmakers from getting paid if they fail to pass a balanced budget on time.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge David Brown has scheduled a hearing on his tentative ruling Wednesday afternoon. He found that state Controller John Chiang violated the separation of powers clause of the California Constitution.

Chiang says he was acting under 2010’s Proposition 25 when he determined the budget adopted by lawmakers was not balanced. He halted their pay for 12 days last year and their paychecks resumed after they passed a new budget.

Republican lawmakers say voters were “manipulated by the majority party” when they passed the initiative, which also lowered the voting threshold for passing the state budget.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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