Brown on Prop 8 and Schwarzenegger on the Budget
by Charles Lemos, Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:53:43 AM EST
Here is some California news:
California Attorney General Jerry Brown Urges Overturning Prop 8
California's Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed a brief to the California Supreme Court which is reviewing the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 arguing that the measure is constitutionally indefensible and should be overturned. Brown wrote in the brief that "Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification." In essence, the Attorney General is arguing that minority rights should not be subject to the whims of the majority. More from the New York Times. Jerry Brown is expected to run for Governor in 2010.
Governor Schwarzenegger Orders Unpaid Furloughs for All California State Employees
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to all California state employees mandating two unpaid days of leave per month beginning in February 2009 and lasting through June 2010. The executive order is the latest salvo in California's budget battle. The state faces a $41.8 billion dollar deficit.
More on the Schwarzenegger move from Bloomberg News:
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered all state workers to take two days of unpaid leave each month to conserve money amid a record budget deficit and a legislative impasse over how to fix it.
The furloughs will begin in February and will last through June 2010, Schwarzenegger said in an executive order. He also ordered all departments to cut 10 percent of their workforce costs, through firings if necessary.
"Every California family and business has been forced to cut back during these difficult economic times, and state government cannot be exempt from similar belt tightening," Schwarzenegger said in a letter to state workers.
The furloughs came after Schwarzenegger vowed to veto a package of tax increases and spending cuts approved yesterday. Democrats had attempted to find a way around a two-thirds supermajority normally needed for passage of a tax measure as they considered ways to close the $42 billion shortfall that has depressed California bond prices and forced officials to halt $3.8 billion of public-works projects. The deficit also threatens to leave the most-populous U.S. state without enough cash to pay bills by February.
The furloughs would amount to a 10 percent pay cut, Chris Voight, executive director of the California Association of Professional Scientists, a group that represents about 3,000 scientists working for the state. The association and the Service Employees International Union announced they will sue to block the furloughs and any layoffs, which they said would violate collective-bargaining deals.
On a personal note, I am so tired of Schwarzenegger's antics on the budget. Every July, California ends up having a budget crisis. This year, the state was without a budget until October. This is a failure of government.