SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – A Sacramento-based appeals court says state Controller John Chiang overstepped his constitutional powers in 2011 when he withheld state lawmakers’ paychecks after he decided they had not passed a balanced budget.

Democratic leaders sued, and a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled in 2012 that Chiang violated the separation of powers clause of the California Constitution.

A three-judge panel of the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s ruling on Friday.

Chiang said he was acting under 2010’s Proposition 25 when he halted lawmakers’ pay for 12 days after deciding they had failed to meet their constitutional June 15 deadline for passing a balanced budget.

Chiang called the latest adverse ruling a setback for the reforms supported by voters. A spokesman could not say whether Chiang would appeal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


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