We mentioned during our Friday appearance on News10's Live_Online that a bill now in the Legislature would keep governors from temporarily withholding state worker pay to in the event of a budget impasse. You'll recall that Schwarzenegger ordered employee pay cut to the federal minimum in the summer of 2008 when budget talks locked up. Controller John Chiang refused to follow pay letter instructions from the Department of Personnel Administration ordering the payroll change, however.
The matter wound up in Sacramento Superior Court, where Judge Timothy Frawley ruled that Chiang overstepped his authority. Click here for a quick refresher on that case, now on appeal in Sacramento's 3rd District Court.
Here's the Legislative Counsel's explanation of AB 1125:
This bill would continuously appropriate from the General Fund and other specified funds to the Controller an amount necessary for the payment of compensation and employee benefits to state employees, as defined, for work performed on or after July 1 of a fiscal year for which no budget has been enacted.
This bill would specify, if a memorandum of understanding is in effect that has been approved by the Legislature, that the compensation and contribution for employee benefits for represented state employees be at a rate consistent with the memorandum of understanding and, for state employees excluded from collective bargaining, at the rate approved by the Department of Personnel Administration prior to the commencement of the fiscal year for which a Budget Act has not been enacted.
The bill would require, if a memorandum of understanding is not in effect for represented state employees and the department has not approved a compensation package for state employees excluded from collective bargaining, that the compensation and contribution for employee benefits for represented state employees and state employees excluded from collective bargaining be at the rate in effect at the expiration of the last fiscal year for which a budget was enacted.
The bill, which you can read by clicking this link, has to pass the Assembly by Jan. 31, highly unlikely since the urgency measure needs a two-thirds vote. But we wanted to call it to your attention, since it came up in our discussion with News10's Sharon Ito and we mistakenly cited AB 1215 (which is another bill of interest to state employees that you can read about by clicking here).