The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 30, 2010
The budget impasse, converted to furlough dollars

Correction: An earlier version of this post included psychiatric technicians as a group that will work on a self-directed furlough schedule. Psychiatric technicians are exempt from furloughs under the terms of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest furlough order. We regret the error.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 100715 Senate Logo.jpgWelcome to Day 30 without a 2010-11 state budget. Here's one way to think of the delay's cost to state workers:

The Schwarzenegger administration figures that each day that the state goes without a budget costs the state another $50 million. That means as of today, the state has burned through $1.5 billion due to legislative inertia.

The Legislature has been on paid vacation this month.

assembly seal.gifCoincidently, the furlough program ordered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger lops off just about $50 million in state payroll costs for every day that the 156,000 workers impacted by it take an unpaid day off. (Many employees such as correctional officers will work full schedules, take the pay hit but may have to defer the time off, depending on departmental needs.)

In other words, it would take 10 months of furloughs just to make up for cash burned through by lawmakers' budgetary procrastination.

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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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