Governor Appeals Ruling in Attempt To Proceed With Planned Furloughs
On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) appealed a ruling issued Monday by Judge Steven Brick that temporarily blocked his furlough order for some state employees, the Sacramento Bee reports.
In his filing with San Francisco's First District Court of Appeals, Schwarzenegger contended that the temporary restraining order is "fraught with error." He added that "without the cash savings from furloughs, the state will be forced to cease funding to a wide variety of vital state programs" (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 8/11).
Attorneys for the governor asked the appeals court to stay the judge's ruling to allow the furloughs to proceed as planned starting on Friday.
A spokesperson for Schwarzenegger said the governor has the executive authority toÂ order furloughs to address California's budget deficit (Lagos, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/11).
Details of the Furlough Plan
The governor's furlough order aimed to preserve funds for state health and safety programs by requiring more than 144,000 state workers to take three unpaid days off monthly until lawmakers pass a budget package. The move would have reduced the workers' salaries by about 15% (Sacramento Bee, 8/11).
The furlough order would not have applied to state employees who either work for an exempted agency or belong to one of six state worker unions that previously reached a labor deal with the Schwarzenegger administration.
The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents 1,800 state employees, would have been one of the labor groups exempt from the furloughs (California Healthline, 8/10).
IOUs on the Horizon?
California still lacks a budget plan for the fiscal year that began in July.
On Tuesday, Controller John Chiang (D) said that if lawmakers do not pass a budget soon, he will begin issuing IOUs in late August or September to pay state bills (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 8/10).
Chiang also reported that that the state's overall revenues fell $91 million below projections in July, creating potential cash flow challenges over the next several weeks (Trujillo, Sacramento Business Journal, 8/10).
On Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on Schwarzenegger's efforts to reinstate furloughs for state workers (Lieszkovszky, "KXJZ News," Capitol Public Radio, 8/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.