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Schwarzenegger Terminates Full Salaries of State Employees

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."


Join The Conversation
daisymay81 daisymay81 9 years
I think someone should take away all of the money that he and his wife both have and see if they can live on $13.10/hr. No movie money, no family money or endorsements.
PinkTulip PinkTulip 9 years
From what I understand, he is giving them the wages they lost BACK when the budget is finalized. no?
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 9 years
He is putting the employees in a poverty level. They are gonna end up having to go to cash advance places or take out crappy loans to make ends meet and then thier lives are just sucky and will get screwed by people taking advantage of them. Or they'll apply for government assistance which is just a vicious cycle? Arnold is a wealthy man. If he paid for all of the services he and his family are provided as governor for a few weeks or several months...that money could go back into the budget and not force employees to lose wages.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
the way i understand it is that by state law if there is no state budget w/i a certain amount of time workers either get time-and-a-half or minimum wage. so his choice was to make the budget problems worse, or try and limit the cost. what else can he do?
thewavingcat thewavingcat 9 years
that's sick that he would do that. seriously disgusting.
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 9 years
Who is going to want to work for the state at that rate?? I mean, they would seriously be better off working at McDonalds!
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Hip hip hooray for the the controller - you go John!
AmberHoney AmberHoney 9 years
Why doesn't Arnie the dick give up his salary and daily commutes from LA LA land to Sacto?
nals33 nals33 9 years
Oh our lovely Governator... This definitely isn't going to end well.. I hope all the state employees and their families don't suffer too much from Arnie's poor decision.. And I hope Arnie realizes what he's actually done before all of this blows up in his face.
redegg redegg 9 years
I wish he would come revise the budget/salary compensation in MA. It is out of control with corruption.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
MartiniLush, you took the words right out of my mouth!
em113 em113 9 years
I don't get how this is "hysterical" he's not punishing the people who didn't do their jobs. This isn't the fault of the state-workers at all.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
Jude, I knew you would get that little joke! :-)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Definitely one of the worst decisions ever. "why can't Arnie simply terminate the salaries" Nice, MartiniLush! :D
MsWalton MsWalton 9 years
Absolutely disgusting. Just like here in VA, people get paid an insane amount of money to create a budget. That budget goes through many hands before it's enacted, so who dropped the ball on that? State employees shouldn't suffer for the government's stupidity. The people at the top of the totem pole should take the pay cuts first. I hope the Governator realizes that he really screwed up this time.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I agree SDTransplant - why can't Arnie simply terminate the salaries of the politicians who can't get it together, rather than hurting all of these state employees who already don't make enough? Hey, while he's at it, he could even take a page from the CEO of Jet Blue and cut his OWN salary so that workers can keep theirs!!!
alikat07 alikat07 9 years
Hopefully this will never come to pass. The state controller John Chiang is refusing to comply and Arnold will have to sue him in court in order to make it go through. Chiang says that the state is in no danger of not being able to pay its bills, in fact the surplus fund situation is healthier than in past budget deadlocks. It is because of political stunts like this the state controller's position is independent of the governor. This certainly doesn't make the state look like a credible employer. I work indirectly for the state (through a university) so my pay is secure, but I feel awful for those who might be worrying about this. Why should they have to take the brunt of this issue when they have no part in passing the budget!
SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
Shouldn't the lawmakers, not the state employees, be penalized for not coming up with a budget in time? Cut their salaries for crying out loud. In a time when our economy is suffering like this, the governor's actions are heartless. No one can survive on minimum wage in Cali.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that's hysterical and hopefully it'll teach people a lesson that they need to do things in a timely manner or suffer the conesquences. (granted if it were me i probably wouldn't find it nearly as funny)
chatondeneige chatondeneige 9 years
That is ridiculous. I see the point, but the people who work for him are already making less than they ought to. What if two state workers are partners and live together? You REALLY think a couple can make it in California on $13.10/hour? Hell, an individual could barely make it on that salary.
em113 em113 9 years
let's cut the salaries of people who already don't make enough money to survive. wise choice.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
This absolutely sickens me. He's taking money away from the people who are already balancing on the edge of poverty. For shame, Arnold, for shame. You rob from the rich to give to the poor not the opposite way around.
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