The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 15, 2010
Chiang files court papers opposing minimum wage order

100715 chiang schwarzenegger.jpgLitigation over state worker minimum wage has been moving so quickly that we're just now catching up to the news that Controller John Chiang filed a court papers late Tuesday opposing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's minimum wage pay order.

You can download the opposition brief here. It's a continuation of the legal back-and-forth that restarted last week.

The filings include these declarations by former state payroll chief John Harrigan, Chiang, consultant Brent Ehrman and others who say that the state payroll system cannot turn on and turn off minimum wage in a way that complies with Schwarzenegger's order without running afoul of federal law.

The SCO also commissioned public accounting and consulting firm Crowe Horwath to study the payroll system. The firm issued this study, dated July 2, that backs up the minimum wage arguments that the controller has made.

Another report dated July 11 lays out several options to get the SCO in position to execute a minimum wage withholding during a budget impasse. It concludes that the best options would require up to four years and up to $11.7 million to implement. Even those would be "partial" solutions.

PHOTO: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks with State Controller John Chiang after he delivered an address to the state Legislature last month. The two are at odds again over pay for state workers. / Hector Amezcua, 2009 Bee file

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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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