California Governor Schwarzenegger Orders Tens of Thousands of State Workers To Take 3 Unpaid Days Off a Month

"We have a fiscal crisis"
Less than one month after ending furloughs for about 200,000 state workers, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this morning brought back a scaled-down version of the policy, effective Sunday.

The governor made the decision this week after Controller John Chiang said that unless lawmakers enacted a budget soon, the state's cash would go into the red by October. Chiang said he'll start issuing IOUs in August or September to conserve funds as long as possible.

We have a fiscal crisis," Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said this morning as he explained the new furlough order. "We're doing what we have to do to conserve cash

Like the policy that ended June 30, the governor's new executive order requires employees take three unpaid days off per month. But unlike that policy, it has no termination date: Furloughs will end when lawmakers pass a 2010-11 budget. That could be weeks or months after the Legislature reconvenes on Monday

And unlike earlier policies, the new order exempts employees who work several departments, specifically the Board of Equalization and the Franchise Tax Board, the Employment Development Department, State Compensation Insurance Fund, the California Housing Finance Authority and the California Earthquake Authority. All employees of the Highway Patrol and the Department of Fire and Forestry Protection are also exempt