Ca Set To Furlough 20000 State Workers

02.17.09 | FL News Team

California's Governor will lay off 20-thousand state employees Tuesday. While many states are having financial problems, none approaches the 41-billion-dollar budget gap facing the Golden State.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had threatened last week to start issuing pink slips as of Friday but held off when lawmakers promised to spend the weekend hammering out some sort of budget solution. They tried, but failed falling a single vote short of passing a more than 14-billion-dollar tax package and making other moves to close the gap.

Now the governor, hoping to eliminate ten-thousand jobs, will send out twice as many layoff notices just in case there are union or other legal issues preventing the layoff of certain state employees.

It is a decision Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the governor calls "a necessary decision." The move, eliminating about 20-percent of state government jobs, will save California 750-million-dollars a year by laying off workers throughout state government. 

As of Tuesday, California will totally shut down the last 276 public works projects in the state. Among them are several half-built highway projects. All other projects were scuttled last November but some were allowed to continue due to the cost of canceling contracts.

In another move to conserve cash, the state has been sending IOUs instead of refund checks to taxpayers. State workers had been ordered by the governor to take two unpaid days off each month but when unions raised serious objections the order was cut to just one day.