The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 24, 2008
Who's there for you if your pay is whacked

The Governor's plan to cut wages if lawmakers don't reach a budget deal by the weekend had union workers protesting at the Capitol today. Reaction from state workers that I interviewed Wednesday for today's lead story in The Bee swung between angry and appalled. Heavy on the angry.

Move past the outrage and the disbelief, though, and it's probably entered your mind: What will I do if my pay gets cut to $6.55 per hour?

Several financial institutions, including The Golden 1, will likely step in with special loan programs to tide you over. Some already have programs in place that are serving  legislative employees who stopped getting paychecks on July 1.

Terry Halleck, President and CEO of the Sacramento-based credit union told me that budget impasse loans have "become routine" for The Golden 1, since it's the rare year that the state's budget comes in on time.

If state workers' pay is slashed, the credit union would quickly expand its outreach to its 100,000 state worker members. "We would quickly get word out," she said. "And I'm sure that our members would call us, too."

Schools Financial Credit Union issued this press release about its zero-interest state employee loan program earlier this month.

River City Bank for 10 years has helped its direct deposit customers working in the Senate and Assembly who lose their pay July 1 when the state's fiscal witching hour strikes. The bank covers checks and withdrawals on the accounts until the budget is finalized and the state makes good on its retroactive wage obligations.

Know of any other loan programs out there?

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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