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Governor Orders Furloughs Until Budget Passed

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is bringing back furloughs for thousands of state workers until California passes a budget.

Schwarzenegger released a new executive order Wednesday that requires state workers to take three unpaid days off per month starting next month.

Schwarzenegger says he’s trying to conserve cash as the state faces a $19 billion deficit.

State Controller John Chiang has warned he will start issuing IOUs in August or September if the budget stalemate drags on in the Legislature.

The new order exempts employees who work for departments that collect revenue, including the Franchise Tax Board. It also exempts about 37,000 workers in six unions that recently reached tentative labor agreements with the administration.

Democrats and unions are decrying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s order to bring back furloughs for thousands of state workers until California passes a budget that addresses a $19 billion deficit.

Unions have also been fighting the governor’s efforts to impose the federal minimum wage while the state operates without a budget.

One union representing 3,000 state employees says Schwarzenegger’s furlough decision is a “punitive measure” because he can’t impose the $7.25 wage.

Assembly Speaker John Perez’s office says the governor’s budget moves, “deliberately hurt people.”

The state Assembly’s Republican leader, Martin Garrick, however, blames Democrats who control the Legislature. He says they have “brought it on themselves” by failing to make budget cuts.

Schwarzenegger says “every day of delay brings California closer to a fiscal meltdown.”

KESQ News Team

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