The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 9, 2009
From the notebook: Constitutional furlough fight edition

Our State Worker column in today's fiber and cyber Bee highlights the next round of constitutional court fighting that's coming soon.

Here are a few notes from a telephone interview with Tom Dresslar, spokesman for Treasurer Bill Lockyer that helped inform what we wrote:

On furlough policy since Judge Patrick Marlette's ruling: We're status quo here. The Superior Court didn't officially enter its judgment until Friday. We're going to be appealing. As soon as we file that appeal, the court order will be stayed unless the administration gets some sort of extraordinary relief. Obviously we believe the Superior Court got it wrong. We're confident that we'll prevail on appeal.

On the pending SEIU Local 1000 agreement: On the legislative front, we've always said that we would implement a collectively bargained agreement. The Legislature still hasn't passed the agreement. We're still waiting for that.

On how the nearly 5 percent cut to the department's staffing budget will affect employees starting July 1: It's too early to share publicly how we would implement the budget cut.

On Schwarzenegger's relationship with his constitutional officer peers: The governor needs a constitutional amendment to force furloughs down the throats of constitutional officers. He's made it clear in the past that he views us as pests that get in the way of his agenda. If he wants to completely subjugate independently elected constitutional officers to his will, he'll need to convince the people of California to go along.

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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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