As most of us are aware, California has been handling a difficult budget crisis, which at times has put the golden state some $20B in debt. In an effort to slow the bleeding of revenues, the governor of the state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has taken the painful steps of furloughing state employees. But the states 200,000 workers were no happy campers and filed a lawsuit to stop the furloughs and sued for back pay. The state Supreme Court has ruled in the governators decision and has ruled the furloughs as legal.
In a recent article it also stated that:
The governor imposed 46 furlough days through June 30, reducing payroll costs by about $3 billion. He imposed another round of them in August to save money as the state budget impasse lingered.
Employees sued to block the measure, and Supreme Court heard oral arguments last month.
“We’re very disappointed by today’s ruling,” said Patty Velez, an environmental scientist at the Department of Fish & Game and president of the California Association of Professional Scientists. “The furlough program may have satisfied the governor’s need to inflict financial pain on the state work force, but we now know it did little to save money for California taxpayers.”
Schwarzenegger issued a statement saying the furloughs were “difficult decisions” he had to make to keep the state afloat. “Today’s ruling upholds the state’s actions to protect taxpayers and ensure we live within our means, just like every California family and business must do,” he said.
That is a novel approach of having any local, state or federal government to live within their means. It is unfortunate that we have reached a point in which governmental issues spend money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Though I do understand the feelings of the state employees and the resentment they feel, what do they expect the governor to do? It is also unfortunate the California legislature doesn’t have the guts to address the state’s budget crisis and chooses to continue to ignore the problem.
What do you think?