No Furloughs Now May Lead to Pain Later: Governor

Friday, Aug 13, 2010  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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No Furloughs Now May Lead to Pain Later: Governor

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State workers are on the job today, but they might not want to spend that paycheck just yet.  The state's top boss says more furloughs are likely.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently ordered workers to be furloughed three days a month as a way to conserve cash. A previous round of furloughs ended in June.

An Alameda County Superior Court judge had issued a temporary restraining order preventing the governor from implementing the furloughs. The appellate court declined to lift that order. 

The Schwarzenegger administration said it will appeal that decision to the California Supreme Court.

Today, the governor's office said the furlough delay  may lead to more unpaid days off for employees later.

Aaron McLear, Schwarzengger's spokesman, said workers will have to contribute in some way as elected leaders tackle a $19 billion budget deficit.

"We're looking at all options right now," McLear told KCRA in Sacramento. "If we can't do the furloughs this month, we may have to do five or six furloughs in September. We have to just push them back."

McLear emphasized that furloughs are a direct result of the Legislature's failure to adopt a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

A state appellate court on Thursday denied Schwarzenegger's request to proceed with another round of furloughs. The decision by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco means thousands of state workers will not be furloughed for now.

A hearing on the matter is set for Sept. 13.

Before the ruling, the administration had instructed employees to report to work while the legal fight continued.

"If the judge ends up telling us we can't do furloughs at all, we'll have to do pay cuts and layoffs," McLear said. "But the cuts to state employees are going to happen. Everybody in the private sector is cutting back. In state government, in the public sector, we need to cut back as well."

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