AG Brown's employees won't face furloughs

By Chris Rizo | Jun 27, 2009

Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-If California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger goes through with his threat to furlough state workers an additional day each month starting in July, employees in Attorney General Jerry Brown's office will be spared.

The governor has threatened to force at least 215,000 state workers to take three unpaid days of leave each month, or the equivalent of a 15 percent pay cut, if state lawmakers do not immediately plug a $24 billion budget hole and pass a balanced budget by Tuesday.

Already, many workers in executive agencies have been ordered to stay home two days a month without pay since February, when the Golden State's financial crisis began to mushroom.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has said that the additional furlough day would help the state make ends meet as it faces the prospect of issuing IOUs starting Thursday. The start of the state's fiscal year is Tuesday.

"It's clear that if the Legislature does not send a full budget solution to my desk by June 30, California will face an extreme cash-flow problem that will threaten our ability to pay for vital services," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "I cannot force the Legislature to act, so I must do what is in my power as governor to conserve cash so that the state can continue to operate."

The governor's Department of Finance said the state would save about $61 million in cash in July alone through an additional furlough day, and would save $184 million through three days of unpaid leave.

In addition to workers in the attorney general's office, employees of the state Legislature and the judiciary would not be affected because they do not work for the governor, but for separate branches of government.

Currently, the governor and Senate Republicans are bickering with the state Assembly and Senate Democrats over a stop-gap solution to the state's budget crisis that could delay the need for IOUs.

The governor and legislative leaders are meeting over the weekend in the hopes of hammering out a budget compromise. The state Legislature reconvenes Sunday night.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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