The Furloughs Didn't Work
Incredibly, forcing people to take off two days a month against their will not only lowered morale and increased inefficiency at state agencies, it didn't put much of a dent in the budget crisis. Revenues are still coming in short and will for the forseeable future. So the Governor put the hammer down.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will move to lay off as many as 10,000 state workers if lawmakers fail to pass a plan to close California's nearly $42-billion deficit by the end of the week, an administration spokesman said this morning.
Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Aaron McLear, said at a media briefing that the administration would send out pink slips Friday, absent a budget deal. The layoff process generally takes about six months for state employees due to union rules and other legal considerations, and bureaucratic procedures the state must follow. The move would save the state $150 million annually if the jobs are eliminated by July 1, according to McLear.
This would have been a good thing for the Governor to be working on, I don't know, yesterday, instead of jetting to Idaho. It turns out that Arnold was making a scheduled appearance at the Special Olympics - but he cancelled a similarly scheduled appearance at the Republican National Convention when budget talks were ongoing last year, and if anything the crisis is worse now. This is another case of Arnold making stern pronouncements in the media instead of doing his job. He is a failed governor and frankly the press are the only people who will listen to him.
...I should mention that George Skelton came out yesterday for lowering the 2/3 requirements for budgets AND taxes, albeit on the latter he added a caveat that tax increases can't be used to grow government above the rates of inflation and population growth. I'm not much for the caveat, but Skelton is a bellweather for the media elite in California, so this is important.