State workers in the Eastern Sierra now brace for the slam of the budget crisis on their jobs. Before the holiday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had issued an executive order that declared a financial emergency with a tough plan to start February 1, 2009.
The Governors order calls for a plan for workers to take unpaid days off, for a reduction in salaries, lay-offs in some cases and position reductions. The Governor also ordered that State departments should not enter into any new consulting or services contracts.
Governor Schwarzenegger also requested that other entities of State government not directly under his authority adopt similar measures for budget savings. He named the Public Utilities Commission, the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges and the legislative and judicial branches of government.
This order could impact jobs at Caltrans, Department of Fish and Game, Department of Motor Vehicles, Highway Patrol, and the many programs funded by state dollars transit, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, possibly energy programs and hoped for internet services.
Governor Schwarzeneggers order calls for a two days per month furlough work for no pay. The order also calls for a plan for furlough or salary reduction for all state managers, including exempt state employees. The Department of Personnel Administration will also initiate layoffs and other position reduction and program efficiency measures to achieve a reduction in the General Fund payroll of up to 10%.
It is unknown if safety services will suffer least, as has been the habit in the past. Fire and police have seen fewer cuts, but the Governors order does not spell out exemptions.
His order does refer to the worldwide and state economic problems and an approximate $15 billion General Fund deficit for California this year a deficit expected to grow to a $42 billion budget shortfall over the next 18 months.
We will look into the many potential impacts locally as the new year approaches.