California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a man of his word this week. His threat to significantly cut the salaries of 200,000 state employees if lawmakers failed to produce a budget turned into reality when he signed an executive order reducing their pay to $6.55 an hour. The Governor's order also eliminates more than 20,000 state jobs, saying the state can't pay its bills without a budget.
Today, I am exercising my executive authority to avoid a full-blown crisis and keep our state moving forward. This is not an action I take lightly, but we do not have a budget, and as governor, I have a responsibility to make sure our state has enough money to pay its bills.
Needless to say, state employees facing enormous pay cuts are not happy about the situation. Karen Bass, the speaker of the State Assembly, shows her solidarity with the workforce: "It is an unwise and unfortunate move to cause economic strife to public servants and their families who are working hard and playing by the rules."