Howard Rich's Blog

June 30, 2009

California : The “Furloughing” Of Common Sense

By, Howard Rich
How many California state employees does it take to screw in a light bulb?

We’ll find out soon enough.

After steadily growing both its budget and bureaucratic payroll for years, California’s fiscal house of cards collapsed last year, opening a $24 billion hole in its upcoming budget.

In an effort to save a nickel – or rather, $1.4 billion worth of nickels – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed last December that state employees take two days worth of furloughs each month, an idea that was roundly rejected by the state’s government unions. In fact, they sued Schwarzenegger – and after losing their case in court they filed an unfair labor practice claim against him.

Earlier this year, Schwarzenegger relented and trimmed the furlough down to one day a month, although both the governor and Democratic lawmakers are moving to restore the second day in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Similar plans have stoked union outrage in other states and municipalities – most notably Chicago –but it’s California where the furlough debate has been most acutely focused

Continue reading California : The “Furloughing” Of Common Sense


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