The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 17, 2009
How much furlough fights have cost the state; more about the SCIF lawsuit

We asked the Department of Personnel Administration how much it's spent on legal services for the various court battles waged over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's furlough order and the federal minimum wage battle with Controller John Chiang.

The numbers so far:

$134,504 paid to Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedeman & Girard for its furlough lawsuit work. As of April 15, DPA had another $45,193 in bills from the firm.

The Gilb v. Chiang case was handled by DPA lawyers, "so no payments to outside counsel for that," administration spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley told us.

And while we're on the topic of furloughs, Jolley said that this section of the state Insurance Code was the basis for the governor's first furlough lawsuit loss:

Notwithstanding any provision of the Government Code or any other provision of law, the positions funded by the State Compensation Insurance Fund are exempt from any hiring freezes and staff cutbacks otherwise required by law.... (Insurance Code section 11873).

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch viewed SCIF furloughs as a staff cutback, Jolley said. We'll know more in a few days when the judge issues his written final ruling in the case.

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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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