The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 23, 2009
Date set for constitutional furlough lawsuit

In all the hubbub that went with last week's budget and union contract news, we failed to mention that a date has been set in Sacramento Superior Court to hear Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's lawsuit to settle the question of whether constitutional officers have to abide by his furlough order.

Controller John Chiang's side must file their papers by March 3.

The Department of Personnel Administration must then respond by March 9.

The hearing is set for March 13 before Judge Patrick Marlette. You'll recall Marlette was the judge who last month said Schwarzenegger's emergency powers include furloughing state employees.

In some ways, the lawsuit is a moot exercise, since Schwarzenegger reduced the constitutionals' personal services budgets by up to 10 percent. (Lt. Governor John Garamendi, an outspoken critic of the budget, didn't get off so easy. His 21-member personal services budget took a 62 percent hit.) The targeted line item cuts by the governor mean that the departments will likely have to furlough or lay off employees.

You can view the court order here.

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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


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