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GOP lawmakers seek opinion on docking legislative pay

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Five Republican state lawmakers asked for a legal opinion Tuesday on whether the state controller has the authority to determine whether a budget is balanced and then dock legislative pay if he decides it is not.

Under Proposition 25, approved by voters last year, legislators lose their pay if they fail to pass a balanced budget by June 15. Controller John Chiang recently cut off legislative pay after the governor vetoed a budget approved by lawmakers that the controller ruled was not balanced.

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The five Assembly members asked the state attorney general whether the controller has that power.

‘We are concerned that this issue is likely to return in future budgets proposed by the state Legislature,’ said the letter from Assemblymembers Donald Wagner of Irvine, Alan Mansoor of Costa Mesa, Diane Harkey of Dana Point, Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga and Chris Norby of Fullerton.

Mansoor and others said they believe it should be up to the Legislative Analyst’s Office to determine whether a budget passed by lawmakers is balanced.

-- Patrick McGreevy

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