Legal Workers Call Gov. Schwarzenegger’s|Forced Furloughs Illegal and Pointless

     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – More than 160 California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment claim Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger exceeded his authority by furloughing workers who are not paid out of the state’s General Fund. As it applies to them, the workers say, the governor’s Dec. 19, 2008 Executive Order S-16-08 reduced state services without saving any money, as they are not paid from the General Fund.

     Schwarzenegger announced the furloughs to deal with the state’s enormous budget deficit – estimated at $42 billion in December, now estimated at more than $21 billion.
     Plaintiffs point out that the state Department of Insurance, for example, employs 71 CASE workers (apparently, California Attorneys in State Employment, though this is never precisely specified in the acronym-laden 35-page complaint.) “The salaries of CASE members at DOI are funded entirely by fees imposed on insurance premiums,” according to the complaint in Alameda County Court. “Not a single General Fund dollar goes to support the budget of DOI. Accordingly, furloughs at DOI result in reduced state services while achieving no savings whatsoever to the General Fund.”
     The Department of Corporations employs 38 CASE members, to which the same argument applies, according to the complaint.
     Same goes for the 39 CASE members in the Department of Managed Care, 18 CASE members in the Department of Real Estate, 14 in the Department of Consumer Affairs, 24 in the Department of Motor Vehicles, 18 in the Public Employees’ Retirement System, six in the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, three in the Department of Pesticide Regulations, and other CASE employees in other departments, according to the complaint.
     Plaintiffs demand an injunction. They are represented by Brooks Ellison of Sacramento.

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