For most lawmakers, this paycheck will be almost five-thousand bucks lighter than usual.
Mitchell: "I'm a working class, single adoptive parent. Took a pay cut quite frankly to come serve my state and it's very hard."
Democratic Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell says she had a tough chat with her ten-year-old son about the reality of the pay cut. She says it didn't affect any of her voting decisions…..but:
Mitchell: "It feels a little like extortion and I think that's unfortunate. I really, really do."
California voters approved the new rule last year. Proposition 25 says lawmakers permanently forfeit their pay every day after June 15th that they haven't passed a budget. Democrats did pas a spending plan that day but Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it and the State Controller said it wasn't balanced. Hence, the pay cut.
Huff: "I call this the Paycheck Protection Budget Act of 2011."
That's Republican Senator Bob Huff. He says the minority party has little control since prop. 25 lets Democrats pass a budget on their own. He says the law is a real motivator:
Huff: "There's only so many days you can go without getting paid and whether there's a legal issue with that or not, that's the reality we're living right now, and so, you know, there's intense pressure to make a decision. Whether it's right or wrong, just make it and get out of town."
GOP Senate Leader Bob Dutton is less cynical than his colleague:
Dutton: "There's a constitutional obligation to have a budget done by July 1 and I would like to think - I'll give them the benefit of the doubt- that that's what they're focusing on and it isn't just to ensure that they get a paycheck."
California's had a budget by the start of the new fiscal year only five other times over the past two decades.