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My husband and I found ourselves aghast at the latest from a couple of our California legislators. They are suing the State Controller, John Chiang, for making the decision, which had voter approval, that the legislators should not get paid if they cannot come in with a budget within guidelines set forth in the State’s constitution. Guess where the money is coming from to pay for this? We, the people of California are paying for it!

The State has been in pretty poor shape after Arnold left. While as Governor he did not collect a salary, he did spend. He spent money just like the gal in that movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” He left the State of CA in worse shape then it was in when he took it from ousted Governor Grey Davis.

Be that as it may, during the years of Arnold, California’s debt grew bigger and bigger and our budget committee took longer and longer to figure out how they could come up with the money for what they wanted to spend. They called these folks the “Big Five.” By the way, the Governor is one of the “Big Five.”

It was the same “Big Five” that did turn in a budget for the first time in years on time for the June 15th deadline, and it was waiting for the Governor’s signature. However, when Governor Brown took a look at it he vetoed the budget stating that is was “not a balanced solution.” Schools were underfunded by approximately $1.3 billion and lawmakers had not passed bills that would help balance the budget. The State’s Controller enforced the law which was approved by the voters under CA Proposition 25. Controller Chiang’s decision cost these folks 12 days of pay and expenses. This move saved the State of CA over $583,000.

The money, the $583,000, two legislators are now using to sue the State. Yup, the savings are being used for legal representation for two representatives: Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Perez. Their claim is that the State Controller, John Chiang, did not have the right to intervene in legislative matters.

The billing rates for the attorney’s (one, a retired justice from the 3rd District Court of Appeals) that have hired is approximately $435/hour and the paralegal costs are about $130/hour.

The long and the short of it is this: The Legislator’s got hit in the pocket, and they want to recoup, even if they did their job, but not well enough to get the approval of the Governor. And, the citizens of the State of California get to pay for it! Shouldn’t the Legislator’s pay for this themselves? Oh, by the way the total cost to them a little shy of $5000. No wonder California is in the shape it is in!

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