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Top Democrats take aim at governor’s pay cut order

July 2, 2010 |  5:18 pm

Now that an appeals court has sided with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his effort to reduce state worker pay to minimum wage without a budget in place, top Democratic lawmakers are taking aim at the proposal.

“The governor should not be toying with the lives of working families in order to gain a tactical advantage in budget negotiations,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) accused the governor of playing “political games.” He called the minimum wage order a “political stunt that will not save the state a single penny,” because workers would be entitled to their full back pay upon a budget accord.

The governor’s office has maintained that Schwarzenegger is simply following the law.

The appeals court decision, said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear, “underscores the fact that everyone loses when we have a budget impasse. Every day the Legislature fails to deliver a budget costs the state $50 million."

The new budget year began July 1.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento