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Jul 25, 2008 - 05:00 PM

Arnold's wage cut proposal draws heavy fire

by Carmen Balber
Governor Schwarzenegger's attempt to drastically cut wages for hundreds of thousands of state workers until a new budget is approved has drawn fire from right, left and center as variously illegal, immoral, or just a ham-handed threat.

The State Controller (who signs the checks) said he won't cut state employees' pay (in the SF Chronicle).

The legislative analyst says the governor can't force the Controller to pay the federal minimum wage (in the Sacramento Bee) and Bee columnist Walters says it's an idle threat.

State worker unions gathered to express their anger at the proposition at rallies across the state (read it in the LA Times and the Mercury News).

Even the governor's Republican colleagues seemed to frown at the idea, with this joint statement from Senate and Assembly leadership: "We are working very hard to avoid drastic measures like the one that is being proposed."

Contrary to one of the governor's favorite sayings, if everyone's mad at you, it's not a sign that you're successfully straddling the middle of the road. This idea looks to be dead on arrival.

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