The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 30, 2011
Blog back: Those other 'special funds' departments

Blog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

Sharp-eyed blog user WilliesCons had a question about our post that the California Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 100609 gavel.jpgSupreme Court had refused to take a "special funds" furlough case that SEIU Local 1000 had won at the trial court level and then lost when the government appealed. Weren't there some departments that the 1st District Court of Appeal said might still be in play for a successful "special funds" argument?

Sept. 22 California Supreme Court refuses to hear SEIU furlough case

"As to the five remaining entities that have already implemented the full furlough program but are not named in an "item of appropriation," their inclusion cannot be deemed 'mandated by the act' of the Legislature. However, given the virtual irrelevance of the record on appeal to the issues made dispositive in the wake of Professional Engineers, we remand in order that the parties may have the opportunity to present evidence as to whether the sources of funding for these entities are otherwise part of the budgetary process and therefore may be within the ambit of Professional Engineers." SO WHAT HAPPEN TO RULING ON THE FIVE DEPARTMENTS THAT WERE NOT SUBJECTIVE TO "ITEM OF APPROPRIATION"? This ruling does not address this issue. Those five departments should not have been subjective to furlough since they are not "ITEM OF APPROPRIATION". Jon could you please enlighten us?

We should have addressed this in the Sept. 22 post. Thanks for the question.

The appellate court said that five departments -- First 5 California, the Prison Industry Authority, the California Earthquake Authority, the California Housing Finance Agency and the Office of Administrative Hearings -- weren't covered by the its ruling. The legality of furloughs for employees in those organizations can be argued again in Alameda Superior Court, where the case originated.

SEIU has said it intends to pursue the litigation. Click here for an earlier State Worker report that has more of the details.

We checked the Alameda Superior Court docket for the case, No. RG09456750. There's no indication that SEIU has filed anything yet under that case's number, and there are no related cases noted on the court's website.

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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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