California legislative leaders are suing the state’s controller over the authority to suspend lawmakers’ pay for late budgets.

Senate President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez announced on Tuesday they are suing John Chiang for docking lawmakers’ pay.

They added that their suit was meant to challenge the controller’s authority rather than to seek back pay.

Chiang had suspended the pay last year after determining the spending plan passed by a June 15 deadline was unbalanced.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the budget before eventually signing a new version on June 29.

Chiang’s action cost each rank-and-file lawmaker $4,830, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“I welcome the review of Propositions 25 and 58, which voters enacted to ensure on-time and balanced budgets. The issue before us is not the role of my office, but how to enact the will of the voters,” Chiang said in a statement Tuesday.

The controller said California’s constitution clearly restricts his authority to pay legislators when they fail to enact a balanced budget by the mandated deadline.

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