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07-25-08, 11:03 AM #1
Schwarzenegger threatens to pay state employees minimum wage
Arnold Schwarzenegger threatened to slash the pay of more than 200,000 state government employees to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour, saving the state an estimated $1.2 billion a month--and putting a huge amount of pressure on recalcitrant lawmakers to finally come to an agreement on the budget.
Schwarzenegger acknowledges that the pay cut is a drastic measure, but he seems to believe push has finally come to shove. The legislature here was required to pass the more than $100 billion state budget by July 1, but legislators have been at loggerheads ever since, with Democrats demanding tax increases to close the shortfall and Republicans insisting on spending cuts. In the last week, negotiations between the two sides have largely broken down.
The state's budget deadline came and went 24 days ago with no sign of progress, and lawmakers have watched their approval ratings sag. According to a poll released this week, 3 in 5 Californians say they disapprove of the job the state legislature is doing. Nearly half disapprove of Schwarzenegger. More than two thirds say the state is now "seriously off track."
With this new move, Schwarzenegger has embraced a policy of mutually assured destruction--and turned the budget battle into a political cage match. While there is some question about whether or not he could actually push through his proposed pay cut--the state controller insists the state has enough cash to make payments through September--there's no doubt that Schwarzenegger is on firm legal ground. In 2003, the California Supreme Court ruled that the state may cut workers' salaries to the federal minimum in the absence of a state budget. Once the budget is passed, workers' salaries would return to their normal levels, and they would receive back pay, as well.
As lawmakers haul themselves back to their budget talks, experts say there is no guarantee they will be able to bridge their differences. This state, after all, has a long history of political gridlock: In 1992, Gov. Pete Wilson paid 93,000 state workers with IOUs during a then-record 64-day budget impasse. Today's state workers, meanwhile, are girding themselves for the worst. As one told the Bee: "I guess people will start working on Monday like they're making $6.55 an hour."
By Justin Ewers Thu Jul 24, 6:40 PM ET
07-25-08, 12:27 PM #2
I think the politicians should be paid minimum wage just to see how the other half lives. It would be a lesson hard learned for them to see how so many struggle every day just to put food on the table and to pay bills.
07-25-08, 12:34 PM #3
Sounds like a good idea to me. Take the money out of politics, and the people who stay would be the ones who want to do the job.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
07-25-08, 01:50 PM #4
So I guess his salary would be among those set to $6.55 an hour? Or did he not think of that when considering his great plan?
07-25-08, 01:55 PM #5
07-25-08, 01:56 PM #6
07-25-08, 03:30 PM #7
I wonder if the minimum wage threat extends to the legislature as well as the truck drivers? If you are a state employee living pay check to pay check, several weeks of that pay cut would be devastating. These idiot politicians are gambling with other people's mortgages.Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.
That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.
If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.
I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones
Hunt the wolf, and bring light to the dark places that others fear to go. LT COL Dave Grossman
07-25-08, 06:12 PM #8
I beilieve Arnie declines a paycheck as he does not need it But someone brought up a federal law that said you can't do what he wants to do on the pay cut.
Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy
07-25-08, 06:28 PM #9
ah yes american government at its finest.
07-26-08, 01:39 AM #10
Oh how this country with all it's states would benefit with a group of politicians who believed in public service.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
07-27-08, 11:54 PM #11
Let Hollywood figure it out.They believe they know every thing there is to know about politics anyway.Please do not mistake my kindness for weakness.
07-27-08, 11:59 PM #12
Terminator versus Terminator? Make my day!
07-28-08, 12:55 AM #13
Like the russians used to say, "You pretend to pay us....and we will pretend to work".
See how long the community likes 6 dollar an hour cops and firefighters.
Car 4I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!
07-28-08, 02:50 AM #14
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
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