Thursday, February 17, 2011

CA Governor Freezes Hiring, Drops Minimum Wage Suit

Jerry Brown, the governor of my home state of California ordered a hiring freeze earlier this week to help with the state government's $26.6 billion financial crisis. He also dropped a lawsuit filed by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger regarding the governor’s authority to pay workers minimum wage.

From AP News:

    Brown announced what he said was a comprehensive hiring freeze that applies to vacant, seasonal, full-time and part-time positions. The administration estimates the freeze, along with other cost-cutting efforts like reducing the number of state-issued cell phones, will save $363 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, about $200 million of which will be in general fund savings.

    "We must do everything possible to save money and make government leaner and more efficient," the Democratic governor said in a statement.

    Brown is allowing for certain exemptions that are critical to public safety, revenue collection and other core functions. An example includes positions that respond to disasters or life-threatening situations. He also will continue to make senior-level appointments to form his new administration.

    According to the state controller's office, California had about 234,000 employees as of Jan. 31.

    Hiring freezes aren't new in California. Schwarzenegger ordered a state hiring freeze and payroll cuts to conserve cash as California struggled with a $42 billion budget deficit back in 2008. He also imposed days off without pay, which became known as "furlough Fridays."

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