We just got off the phone with Schwarzenegger administration spokesman Aaron McLear. Some excerpts from the conversation:
TSW: How likely is it that the Legislature will approve these cuts, particularly the 5 percent state worker pay cut?
Aaron McLear: We're not putting bets on any part of our proposal. This is what the governor believes is the best way to get out from under a $24 billion deficit. If the Legislature has other ideas, we're anxious to talk about that with them.
TSW: Is there a Plan B if legislators don't go along with cutting state worker pay?
McLear: Our proposal is our proposal. The state worker pay cut is just one of many elements up for debate.
TSW: OK, straight up: Is the governor prepared to order more furloughs if he doesn't get the pay cut?
McLear: What the governor has put together is what he believes is the best way to (handle the budget mess). If he needs to take executive action to realize savings in the future he will do that. You can't discount anything.