It’s time to cut off the cash flow for politicians who don’t do their jobs. California lawmakers should lose salaries and per diem for every day a budget isn’t passed on time.
A new Field Poll found that only 15 percent of Californians think state legislators are doing their job. From the Sacramento Bee:
The record budget standoff – now 74 days into the fiscal year – clearly has contributed to the Legislature's slide in the eyes of the public, DiCamillo said. Eighty-two percent say the budget impasse is a "very serious" problem, up from 68 percent in July.
And the San Francisco Chronicle:
"This is the lowest job approval rating for any elected official, group or organization that's ever been registered by the Field Poll," which was established in 1947, DiCamillo said.
The Legislature's previous low mark was 19 percent in July 2003, when the state faced another brawl over a late budget and a proposed recall of Gov. Gray Davis.
All while legislators accrue an extra $170 a day in per diem payments – money they wouldn’t be making if they’d done their job on time.
A few lawmakers have rejected the extra cash until they pass a budget, but a few voluntary abstentions aren’t enough. Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying because politicians didn't do their jobs.