Schwarzenegger may extend furloughs set to expire in June

Tomorrow is supposed to be the last Friday that California state workers stay home without pay. Governor Schwarzenegger — who furloughed state employees to save money — had promised to end the practice in June.

Last year, the Governor ordered state workers to stay home the first three Fridays of the month — without pay. “Furlough Fridays” cost some state workers 14 percent of their paychecks — but saved the state government more than $2 billion. Schwarzenegger had promised to end the furloughs this month.

But the the offer’s only good if lawmakers pass a budget by June 30.

The governor’s press secretary Aaron McLear says "if that doesn’t happen, the governor is going to maintain whatever tools he has under his authority to balance the budget, to pay the bills, to keep government running. Furloughs is one of those things. "

The governor and the state’s legislative leaders are still far apart on a plan to close California’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit. If they can’t reach an agreement by the end of July, the state will stop paying some of its bills to preserve cash.