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A day after getting flak over his decision to keep taking pay during the state’s protracted budget deadlock, Assemblyman Marty Block has changed his mind and will reject his salary.

Members of the legislature make $116,208 a year plus a variety of fringe benefits.

In a statement released tonight, the chief of staff for the 78th district assemblyman said Block has asked the state controller to not pay him for work after June 30, the deadline for the state to pass a budget.

Block told the controller that he would not accept a salary “until the budget bills are signed by the governor.”

“While he stayed true to his pledge not to take a salary unless a budget was enacted, nonetheless he feels that given the current budget situation that foregoing a salary since the June 30th deadline is the right thing to do,” wrote chief of staff Christopher Ward.

The legislature actually passed a budget last February but has been wrangling over a $26 billion deficit for weeks. As a result of the deadlock, the state is running out of money and issuing IOUs for the first time since the Great Depression.

When he successfully ran for office last Fall, Block pledged in a TV commercial that “I won’t take any salary when the legislature is late passing a budget.”

But as our story yesterday noted, Block was taking a salary during the ongoing budget gridlock.

Ward told me yesterday that the budget deadlock didn’t trigger the no-paycheck promise because the legislature is debating a “budget revision.” The legislature passed the actual budget in February, months before the deadline.

Duane Dichiara, a Republican consultant who worked for Block’s opponent, wasn’t impressed by his rationale.

“Any reasonable person knows that what they’re discussing right now is, in fact, the budget,” he told me.

— RANDY DOTINGA

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