The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 29, 2009
Hell in Hawaii: state workers face three furlough days a month - until 2011

The pain caused by free falling state tax revenues is spreading beyond California.

In Hawaii, Governor Linda Lingle wants to furlough her state workers three days a month until 2011. 

The unions are challenging the plan in court.  A hearing is expected this week.

Gov. Lingle is grappling with a $688 million budget shortfall after already trimming $2 billion from her state's budget.

She vows that if her plan to furlough that state's 15,600 state workforce starting July 1 is nixed by the court, she will issue at least 2,500 layoff notices soon afterward.

At least three of the four state employee unions have gone to court to stop her plan, saying that the proposed furloughs are illegal and violate the state's constitution.

For details about the Hell in Hawaii, click here to read a Honolulu Star-Bulletin report.

Then, click here for an Associated Press report that suggests the battle between Lingle and her state worker unions could "literally come down to a trio of sentences in an obscure state labor statute."

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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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