Lawmakers Play “Who's on First” with Furloughs

California is in a giant state of confusion over what is now being called "furlough Friday."

Tens of thousands of state workers will be sent home Friday without pay. However, some report being told to report to work because they insist the governor's order does not apply to them.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office said it's an official day off for state workers, even though there are some locations where people will have to show up.

"If you work at a hospital or a prison or for a constitutional officer you are going to remain open all those days," said Aaron McLear the governor's press secretary "However, your pay will be cut like every other state employee by 9.2 percent. "You will just take that furlough day at some point within the next two years."

Schwarzenegger issued an order months ago to force workers to take two furlough days a month for 17 months straight. The goal is to save $1.3 billion dollars -- money the state doesn't have because of the lack of a budget.

Lt. Gov. John Garimendi, Attorney General Jerry Brown and State Controller John Chiang said the order does not apply to their offices.
In a court ruling on the matter Thursday, a judge ruled that his court "expresses no views on the matter."

All sides are claiming victory, including the California Treasurer Bill Lockyer's office.

"The treasurer believes that the law and the constitution make it very clear that the governor cannot dictate how he or any other constitutional officer manages their employees," said Tom Dresslar, Lockyer's spokesman.

Garimendi has told his employees to come to work tomorrow. Brown and Chiang did the same.

That means about 15,000 people will show up to work on Friday.
One thing is for sure. California's DMV will be shut down, affecting thousands of employees statewide.

"In my one little work area of 24 people, there are seven people that are going through different states of foreclosure and bankruptcy," said DMV worker Rhonda Wagner.

It could get much worse for 250,000 state workers under the governor's control, who now face less pay each month.

Contact Us