The State Controller has been docking lawmakers' pay since June 16th, saying the budget they passed wasn't balanced. But many lawmakers believe the Controller is violating the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches. Republican Senator Sam Blakeslee's proposed constitutional amendment would officially make the Controller the state's budget cop.
Blakeslee: "The legislature needs certainty. We think the controller needs certainty. And we think that the voters expected accountability. And currently, none of those three things exist."
The measure would also require budgets to be public for three days before they're voted on and give voters the right to overturn them.
Democratic Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg's office says the amendment would actually make it more difficult to pass a timely, balanced budget than it was before - and calls it an "end run around the will of the voters."