Cash-Squeezed Calif. to Close Offices Twice a Month

Labor unions file suit opposing cost-saving move
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2009 10:32 AM CST
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks about the state budget crisis in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008.    (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)
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(Newser) – In another creative and/or desperate budgeting move from the Governator, California state offices will close 2 days a month, the Wall Street Journal reports. The state is low on cash and facing a budget deficit expected to swell to $42 billion deficit over the next 18 months. The days off, which begin in February and are scheduled until 2010, mean 10% less pay for state workers.

“The governor has a responsibility to save money wherever he can,” said a Schwarzenegger rep, noting that the move will save the state more than $1.3 billion. But unhappy labor unions are suing the governor, saying the plan requires legislative approval. Amid fears the state could run out of cash in February, the state may send out IOUs instead of tax refunds. Other Schwarzenegger suggestions include cutting the length of the school year.