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Judge Halts State Worker Furloughs

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCBS) _ Governor Schwarzenegger is appealing a ruling by an East Bay judge that blocks the state from forcing thousands of workers to take three Fridays off without pay each month.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven Brick said furloughing the 156,000 state workers would not solve California’s budget crisis.

But he said it would hurt those workers, so he has stopped the governor from resuming with furlough Fridays.

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Bruce Blanning with the Professional Engineers in California Government said he hopes an appeals court will keep that injunction in place.

“There are a lot of state employees who are having problems with credit, problems with paying their bills and putting food on the table depending on their particular economic circumstance,” Blanning said. “So it is really difficult and that was part of the reason for issuing the restraining order.”

But Stanford Law Professor William Gould, who is the former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board said the governor has every right to appeal the ruling.

“His view is that it is his inherent authority under the state constitution to take this action,” said Gould.

The state controller has warned that without a balanced budget soon, he’ll be forced to issue IOUs.

Governor Schwarzenegger told the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce recently that he expects there will be a budget within three weeks or so, and that the furloughs would help the state conserve its cash.

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