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Jul 23, 2008 - 05:00 PM

Part of the check is in the mail

by Carmen Balber
The annual failure of the legislature to pass a budget on time is about to hit more Californians in the pocketbook.

Governor Schwarzenegger is planning on cutting wages for over 200,000 state employees to $6.55/hr -- the federal minimum wage. (Read the story that just popped up in the Sacramento Bee.) The slashed wages will last until lawmakers and the gov clean up the budget mess. $6.55 is almost a dollar-fifty less than any affected state employee could be making under California's $8.00/hr minimum wage. What does the governor expect workers to survive on in the meantime?

Every year we hear the stories of how legislative staff have gotten used to their salaries being put on hold while the budget stalemate plays out. But we also hear about the loans at little to no interest that area banks offer to tide them over. If the governor is serious about this plan, his office should guarantee that every worker demoted to the federal minimum wage gets a loan to help them hold on until they are repaid the money he borrowed.

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