As Democratic candidate for governor in 2010, Jerry Brown said that state worker furloughs were a bad idea. But as a governor confronted with a $16 billion budget deficit in 2012, he offered up a modified version of the policy last summer -- a four-day, 38-hour work week that would cut state employees' pay by the same amount as one furlough day per month.
(The administration protested when media accounts used "furlough" to describe the short work-week plan.)
Critics noted that Utah saw workplace productivity drop off when state employees there went to a 4/10 weekly schedule. Others wondered how departments closed on Fridays or Mondays would do business with private businesses and other government entities that ran on a five-day work schedule. And what about months with five Mondays or Fridays?
Brown eventually worked out an unpaid personal leave day program -- don't call it a furlough program! -- with most state employee unions and imposed it on the holdouts.
Here's the breaking news post from May 14, ranking No. 5 on the State Worker's most-viewed items of 2012:
Jerry Brown's budget proposes longer days, shorter weeks for state workers.