Prison Medical Receiver Seeks Broad Exemptions to Pay Cuts, Layoffs
The receiver for California's prison health care system is seeking exemptions for most corrections department employees from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) order to reduce some state employees' pay to the federal minimum wage and lay off other employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In a letter to the administration on Friday, receiver J. Clark Kelso said he would exempt all corrections department employees except those working in parole and juvenile divisions from the governor's order (Yi/Sondag, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/2).
Kelso said, "There's a pervasive interconnectedness between delivering medical services and everything else corrections does."
Kelso's move would exempt about 60,000 of the corrections department's 66,000 employees from pay cuts and layoffs.
Such an exemption would account for about a quarter of all permanent state employees, raising further questions about how much money the governor's order actually would save, according to the Sacramento Bee (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 8/2).
Andrea Lynn Hoch, secretary of legal affairs, responded to Kelso's letter, arguing that he does not have the authority to make such exemptions.
The governor's order already exempts state employees working in emergency services, 24-hour health care, public safety and other critical services, according to the Chronicle (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/2).