California Highway Patrol officers take furlough days for the 1st time

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A California Highway Patrol cruiser, July 17, 2011 in Los Angeles.

California Highway Patrol officers for the first time will take unpaid furlough days because of the growing state budget deficit.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Personnel Administration said the California Association of Highway Patrolmen has agreed to take a 5 percent pay cut over the next year. Under the plan, 6,600 CHP officers will give up one day a month for 12 months, starting in July.

It’s unclear what effect that will have on public safety. CHP officials were unavailable for comment.

When Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled updated budget numbers in May that showed a $16 billion deficit, he called on all state workers to take a 5 percent pay cut.

Department of Personnel Administration spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley said California is negotiating pay cuts with all 214,000 state employees. Those pay cuts are subject to approval by the state legislature.

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