The governor's latest budget proposal assumes almost 20 percent in employee wage cuts: 15 percent from the three-day furloughs that started this month, plus another 5 percent across-the-board whack.
"Three days (furlough) plus the 5 percent," said H.D. Palmer, Department of Finance spokesman when asked Wednesday to clarify the governor's budget proposal.
The Legislature won't go for the pay cut, but the governor can then add a furlough day for reasons we'll explain.
[In] May the governor proposed a 5 percent cut on top of what were then twice-monthly furloughs. The proposal was dead from the start; everyone knew the Democratic-controlled Legislature would never go for it. ...
Sure enough, the Legislature defeated the plan in June. Schwarzenegger followed the "defeat" with a new executive order to add a third furlough day, getting the 5 percent cut in state worker wages that he wanted.
He could do that because a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled in February that Schwarzenegger's emergency powers let him treat the government's fiscal meltdown like a Southern California wildfire by claiming broad emergency authority – including the power to furlough state workers.
The legal hurdle to exercising that power is proving there's a crisis. The Legislature's bickering while the state's budget ruptures helps. Its rejection of a pay cut is even better.
So this pay cut won't fly, either. Then the governor can add another furlough day. The 20 percent cut will bankrupt some of the 235,000 state workers affected.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Here you go, and enjoy the movie.
Today from the Sac Bee: