Crime & Justice

Judge denies Gov’s motion to force state worker pay cuts during budget impasse

A Superior Court judge in Sacramento today denied a motion to force California’s controller to cut state worker’s pay while there’s no budget in place.

By reducing that pay to the federal minimum wage -- $7.25 an hour -- Governor Schwarzenegger hoped to conserve about a billion dollars in cash each month during the budget impasse. But the state controller refused to comply.

He said the state’s payroll system couldn’t manage the task without violating state and federal labor laws.

Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette agreed that the pay cuts would unduly harm state workers.

Deputy Controller Hallye Jordan said the judge made the right call.

“We were very pleased that the judge took into consideration our arguments and the impact it would have on hundreds of thousands of state employees who have worked for their checks and who demand and expect the full amount,” said Jordan.

California will pay most state employees their full wages this month and next. Judge Marlette will convene a hearing soon to determine whether the state can compel the Controller to cut state workers’ pay during future budget deadlocks.