AB 790, which would have funded state worker payroll with a continuous appropriation, went down to defeat on the Senate floor Thursday. The measure fell four votes short of the 27 needed to reach two-thirds passage as an "urgency" bill that would have taken immediate effect had it become law.
Republicans withheld their votes after failing to get similar appropriations concessions for vendors that do business with the state.
The Assembly had already passed the bill.
Click here to read the measure, by Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina.
The unions are united behind this legislation. Expect it to resurface. Whenever lawmakers fail to pass a budget on time, it opens the door to a governor ordering state employee pay withheld to the federal minimum wage -- currently $7.25 per hour for most state workers and employee classifications.