The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 16, 2009
Bowen waiting for furlough answers from Schwarzenegger


We've called around to all the constitutional officers to see what they'll do in light of Thursday's Superior Court ruling that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger can furlough their workers.

Our questions to all: Are you now going to comply with the governor's furlough order? If so, what details can you share?

Secretary of State Debra Bowen's spokewoman, Kate Folmar, sent an e-mail on Friday after we left a phone message:

As you know, yesterday's Superior Court decision on furloughs will be appealed. Secretary Bowen has never disputed the need for shared sacrifice during these dire economic times -- that's why she has already cut 10 percent of her current budget. What's mystifying is why the governor is fixated on furloughs when there are many other sensible ways to save money and still serve the public.

Our follow-up e-mail:

Is the secretary going to apply the furlough order to her department or refuse pending the appeal? ... If the secretary does apply the furloughs, will it be for one day per month (as per the SEIU tentative agreement) for everyone, or split, with SEIU folks taking one day and everyone else taking two?

The response:

... Secretary Bowen is waiting for a number of answers from the Governor's office and DPA on how to proceed.

Click here to read the responses from the controller's office and the treasurer's office.

IMAGE: Debra Bowen /

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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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