California’s controller told lawmakers Thursday that he won’t pay them if a budget deal isn’t reached by midmonth, while Gov. Jerry Brown said talks are at a critical point. Brown’s negotiations with Republican lawmakers, though sputtering for months, appear to have picked up in recent weeks, with the rarely met constitutional deadline looming June 15. “We are at a critical moment in the next 10 days,” Brown told about 1,000 people Thursday morning at the California Chamber of Commerce’s annual Host Breakfast in Sacramento. “There’s compromises and discussion going on.” State Controller John Chiang added pressure in a written statement by announcing that lawmakers will forfeit salaries and per diem payments if they fail to approve a balanced budget by the deadline. Frustrated by chronically late budgets, Californians voted last year to strip lawmakers of their pay when the budget is overdue.