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Judge denies injunction; state workers to be paid in full

July 16, 2010 |  1:09 pm

More than 200,000 California state employees are expected to be paid their full wages in July and August after a Superior Court judge denied an injunction sought by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger was hoping the court would order that state employees' paychecks be immediately reduced to the federal minimum wage due to the budget impasse.

Schwarzenegger has said state law requires the reduced paychecks as California enters the third week of the fiscal year without a spending plan in place. State Controller John Chiang, who prints the paychecks, has said he cannot implement the order, blaming an outdated computer system.

Judge Patrick Marlette of Sacramento County Superior Court said Friday that while Chiang was breaking state law by failing to issue the smaller paychecks, he could not discount the antiquated computer argument as "frivolous" and denied the Schwarzenegger administration's request for an injunction.

"We're very pleased," said Hallye Jordan, a spokeswoman for Chiang.

Marlette set a late August date for a full hearing to explore whether Chiang's computers can compute a pay cut to $7.25 an hour for the state's workforce.

Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Personnel Administration, the plaintiff in the case against Chiang, said the administration accepts the decision and will prepare for the late August court showdown.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento