Steinberg Says Legislative Pay Freeze Should Be Challenged

But he just isn’t going to be the one to sign his name to that

by Brian Leubitz

During the intermission between paychecks for the Legislators, there were a lot of angry press releases sent out decrying the nerve of that darn Controller.  And at the time, I thought aloud that eventually somebody would challenge it, though the nerve of that particular legislator would likely be something to behold.

And I stick to that more than ever today.  Yesterday, Sen. Steinberg says that the COntroller really didn’t have the authority to decide what was balanced, and that his decision needs to be litigated.

Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, said the issue needs to be legally challenged, though he still doesn’t know who will pursue the case.

“In the moment, of course, it was a popular decision,” Steinberg told The Bee’s Capitol Bureau. “But over the long term, do we really want any governor of the state of California, or a controller, or it could be an attorney general, to say, ‘I demand more cuts. I demand solutions different from what you presented or else people aren’t going to get paid.’ ”

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“I think it was an erroneous decision,” Steinberg said. “And I think over time it will be seen as a decision with very troubling precedent for this state and our system of government.”(SacBee)

I’m not sure that it made a really huge difference this time, as it was ultimately the Gov. that tossed in the towel this time.  But next time this comes up, what if the Governor, perhaps even a Republican…gasp!, is playing Arnold-like games of brinksmanship.  Does the legislator, sans pay, really have the ability to hold out forever?

4 thoughts on “Steinberg Says Legislative Pay Freeze Should Be Challenged”

  1. They passed a phony budget that they knew would not be signed by the Governor is pretty ballsy. But it’s even worse to say that no one has the authority to say the budget was not balanced. It clearly was not, so they should not have been paid. End of story. The debate over whether pay should be withheld to force legislators to pass a budget is not relevant, since Prop 25 already passed. Use the majority vote and get it done.

  2. Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.  Incumbency and guaranteed reelection has given this fellow quite the tin ear.

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