Schwarzenegger again orders cut in state workers' pay
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday officially ordered most state workers’ paychecks slashed to the federal minimum wage -- $7.25 per hour -- now that California has entered a new budget year without a spending plan.
State Controller John Chiang, who issues the paychecks, has said he would not obey the order.
Debbie Endsley, state Department of Personnel Administration director, said in a letter to Chiang on Thursday that he “has no legal authority to pay state employee wages” above the federal minimum wage when there’s no budget in place.
Under the order, state employees’ pay would be reduced as of July 1, although most workers’ checks are not issued until the end of the month. Once a budget is signed, state employees would receive full back pay.
The Schwarzenegger administration last ordered Chiang, a Democrat, to cut workers’ wages in 2008. Chiang refused. Schwarzenegger took him to court and won. An appeals court heard the case last month and has yet to rule.
The instructions from Endsley on Thursday exempted more than 37,000 state workers who recently reached tentative contract agreements with the administration after being offered immunity from such wage cuts.
-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times