Senate passes bill to end some state furloughs
With bipartisan support, the state Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would end three-day-per-month furloughs for thousands of state workers.
The bill, SB 8x 29 by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would exempt members of the state's two tax collection agencies -- the Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization -- from furloughs. Thousands of other employees would also be exempted.
Furloughs for state employees were ordered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as part of last year's cost-saving measures. Workers must now take three furlough days per month, which amounts to about a 14% cut in pay.
The Schwarzenegger administration estimates the furloughs save the state about $1.3 billion per year. Steinberg's bill passed on a 30-6 vote and now heads to the Assembly.
-- Anthony York