Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Today marks the last "Furlough Friday" under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's current executive order mandating that state employees take three unpaid days off a month.

Schwarzenegger's first order came in December 2008, when he called for two unpaid days off a month for state workers, starting in February 2009, to help close what was then a $40 billion budget gap. The monthly total was upped to three in July 2009.

State Worker columnist and fellow Bee blogger Jon Ortiz tells Capitol Alert that all in all, state workers experienced 46 days off, adding up to state employees losing about two months of work since furloughs began.

Though Schwarzenegger's budget proposal does not include additional furloughs, he could issue another executive order mandating new furloughs in the case of a fiscal emergency.

But as Ortiz reported this week, the contract agreements reached between four public employee unions and the Schwarzenegger administration guarantee no more furloughs. Think that deal will lead to accords between the governor's office and more unions? That's the topic of the current poll at our sister blog, The State Worker.

In any case, the furlough wars are far from over. Roughly two dozen lawsuits are still in the courts, including several cases under review by the state Supreme Court.

HEARINGS: The Assembly Transportation Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. in Long Beach for a hearing on electric vehicles.

CAPTION CONTEST: From the "laughter is the best medicine" file: cast your vote in our latest Caption Contest. Polls close at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

BIRTHDAY: Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella, turns 38 today.



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