The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 12, 2009
AG's Office: Furloughs voluntary, spending cuts not
The Attorney General's office has "declined" to implement the two-day-a-month furlough program that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled Friday.

Instead, the attorney general will implement "alternative measures" to cut costs and spending, including a ban on discretionary travel, conferences and training,  according to an internal memo issued from chief deputy attorney general James M. Humes.

Humes said that as a "separate constitutional office," the AG decided it will ignore the Governor's take-two-days-off-a-month approach and implement its own expense reduction plan to meet the same fiscal targets "without furloughing or laying off employees."
 
"These alternative measures will allow us to achieve our budgetary targets in a more constructive way that will better promote the state's interests," Humes added.

The plan, which Humes conceded "will impose yet additional burdens" on his office after it already suffered a $51 million budget cut just last year, includes these elements:
  
1.  Employees may and are encouraged to voluntarily participate in the Governor's furlough plan when it becomes effective.
 
2.   A clamp down on hiring, which includes the following terms:
 
  -  All formal job offers made and accepted before Friday will be honored.
 
   - Vacancies can be filled only if filling the position is critical and it is approved by the division head and Humes.
 
3. All deals under $25,000 must be reviewed and approved by the budget office, except contracts for expert witnesses and contracts for outside counsel.

 
4.  Purchase orders for deals exceeding $5,000 must be reviewed and approved by the budget office before a purchase is made.
 
5.  Service authorization requests for more than $1,000 must be reviewed and approved by the budget office before obtaining the service.
 
6.  All discretionary travel and conferences, and external training will be denied.
 
7.  Discretionary overtime is prohibited for employees eligible to earn it.  All "mission critical" overtime may be approved by the employee's division head or their designee.  Time off in lieu of cash will be used whenever possible.

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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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