By Betty T. Yee,
Betty T. Yee is the California State Controller.
Re “What’s the end game for state budget?”; Commentary, Dan Walters, June 18, 2020
While I appreciate Dan Walters’ attempt to share some history of California budget squabbles leading up to passage of Proposition 25 of 2010, I am disappointed his reporting skips over facts that do not fit his desired narrative.
In leaping nine years from then-Controller John Chiang’s dispute with legislators to the June 15 budget vote, Walters failed to mention California’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled against Controller Chiang’s interpretation of Prop. 25 in Steinberg v. Chiang (223 Cal. App. 4th 338; 2014). In that ruling, the court established that the State Controller may only withhold pay from legislators if they fail to act on the proposed budget by the June 15 constitutional deadline and that the Controller does not have authority to determine whether a state budget is balanced or to audit the accuracy of legislative estimates of future revenues.
I continue to work with leaders from the legislative and executive branches toward a pragmatic budget solution, respecting and implementing the law as interpreted by the judicial branch.