The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 2, 2008
Schwarzenegger: State now 'almost forced' into layoffs

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday afternoon said that the state's budget crisis is so severe that he is considering lay offs to ease California's cash crunch.

Here is a part of Schwarzenegger's transcribed remarks from a Los Angeles press conference in response to questions about the state's finances:

QUESTION: I guess it's a two-parter. What happens if California runs out of cash? You mentioned February, March, very soon. Secondly, you're going to meet with President-elect Obama tomorrow in Philadelphia. Will you ask him for an economic stimulus for California and do you think you're going to get it?

GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, let me just say that because we are now a month late, it's important to know that now we are anywhere between $1.5 billion to $2 billion deeper in the hole, because if we can get revenues earlier then we can go and fill that hole but now we have to make more cuts and raise more revenues because of that. So the legislators, I think, need to know that, because many times they disregard that fact. So every day now that we are delaying, it will mean more and more of a problem.

Number two, when we run out of cash, that means we cannot make the payments, which will have a tremendously horrible effect on our school system. I think always first of our children. I think that our children should not become a victim of all of this and so we should do everything that we can to always have enough money for our kids and for giving them health care and giving them education and those kinds of things. And then we cannot make other payments either.

I think the longer we wait the more we will have to lay off people from government. And I think because of the delay now, we are almost, I think, forced -- as a matter of fact, we are going to have a meeting as soon as I come back from Philadelphia about that, how many people we need now to lay off in order to make ends meet. So it gets worse very quickly. It's like an avalanche, that it gains momentum. And that's what we're in right now, so it's a real crisis.

You can read the entire transcript released by the governor's press office by clicking here.

Thanks to Cap Bureau colleague Shane Goldmacher for alerting us to this.

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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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