A Bad Time to be a Californian

First the unemployment rate goes up to 8.4% and now the Governator is ordering furloughs and layoffs for state workers which will only continue to pad the aforementioned unemployment rate. This information was relayed to employees via email beginning, “Dear State Worker”.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told state workers Friday he will order two-day-a-month unpaid furloughs for state employees and impose layoffs beginning in February to help the state save cash amid its budget crisis.

The furloughs would begin Feb. 1 and continue through June 30 for all rank-and-file employees, which unions estimate to be the equivalent of a 10 percent pay cut. Managers and non-union employees will receive an equivalent pay decrease starting the same day.

Schwarzenegger has instructed his Department of Personnel Administration to “initiate layoffs, reductions and other efficiences” to reduce costs by 10 percent starting in February. To do so, he will give one-fifth of state employees — those with the least seniority — notices that inform them they are at risk of being laid off, though it does not necessarily mean they will lose their jobs.

Of course it doesn’t really help that the State of California is going broke, a fact that seems not to be lost on our esteemed Governor who has vowed to veto any budget bills brought to him by the legislative committee:

I was very disappointed. I thought that when we negotiated that we negotiated a very balanced kind of a compromise where we agreed to raise revenues and increase revenues and also make the necessary cuts and also have a very, very strong economic stimulus package, or recovery package, right along with a bill that will help people stay in their homes for an extra 90 days, those that have to go into foreclosure. And really, the whole idea was that we help the people as much as possible in these very terrible times.

But this proposal that they have sent down and this package that they are sending down does really only one thing and this is punish the people of California. We are asking the people of California, they are saying, you pay more fees, you go and we make the cuts and you will go and have to suffer the consequences of those cuts. But we are not willing to look inside government and make the necessary changes so we can create a stimulus package, an economic stimulus package and an economic recovery package so we can put people to work and have public-private partnerships and make the necessary cuts in all of those things.

So it fell short on every single level…

With that, Mr. Schwarzenegger sent them all back to the drawing board, tasking them to work through the holidays if necessary.

Well, on the bright side, at least the legislative committee won’t be adding to the aforementioned unemployment rate.