Schwarzenegger Set To Issue Layoff Notices to State Employees
On Tuesday, the office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced that the governor would send layoff notices to 20,000 state employees on Friday if a budget agreement is not reached before then, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Aaron McLear, a spokesperson for the governor, said the plan aims to eliminate about 10,000 staff positions with salaries drawn from California's general fund (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 2/10).
Matt David, the governor's communications director, said that notices would be sent to employees with the least seniority in the state Health and Human Services Agency and other departments the state general fund bankrolls (Williams, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/11).
According to the Bee, the governor will send off twice as many layoff notices because some employees will qualify for exemptions and the state is legally barred from laying off some employees (Sacramento Bee, 2/10).
The layoffs would take effect about July 1 and are projected to reduce expenditures from the state general fund by about $750 million in fiscal year 2009-2010 (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 2/10).
Jason Dickerson, a budget analyst at the state Legislative Analyst Office, said that cutting 10,000 staff positions "would be next to impossible without gutting core services" (Sacramento Bee, 2/10).
Budget Proposal Under Consideration
Meanwhile, legislative sources said the governor and state legislative leaders are considering a budget plan that would feature:
- $15.8 billion in spending cuts;
- $14.3 billion in new revenue;
- $10.9 billion in borrowing; and
- A limit on state spending (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/11).
California's budget deficit is projected to hit $40 billion over the next 17 months.
Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) declined to comment on the reported proposal, noting that they had not negotiated a final agreement with Republican legislative leaders.
Steinberg and Bass said they would hold floor votes on a budget plan this week (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 2/11).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.