Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 2:14 am | Fair 57º


Local News

Schwarzenegger Orders 10,000 Layoffs as Budget Languishes

With a $42 billion spending blueprint stalled in the Legislature, the governor trims payroll and projects.

An uncomfortable weekend sleepover at the Capitol couldn’t do it so Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to ratchet up the pressure to get a budget passed by trying the pain of 10,000 layoff notices instead.

Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders had used an unusual three-day emergency session over the Presidents’ Day weekend to try to win passage of a $42 billion budget compromise. Their deal includes $16 billion in spending cuts, $14 billion in temporary tax increases and up to $11 billion in Wall Street loans — all in an attempt to solve California’s recurring budget deficits.

State Senate Republicans refused to go along, however, citing their opposition to tax increases and what they called overspending. As a result, the leadership ordered the Capitol locked down while negotiations could resume with a new intensity. Much of the lobbying centered on Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, who has been the lone Republican to break ranks on previous budget votes. Maldonado remained in opposition Monday night but was reported to be seeking concessions on a number of issues.

With California running out of cash after three months of stalemates, Schwarzenegger said he would send out layoff notices for 10,000 government employees Tuesday. The state has 100,000 workers paid out of its general fund and those with the least seniority would be the first to go.

In addition, he ordered the immediate halt to nearly 300 state projects, valued at $4 billion, and suspended nearly 100 more, valued at almost $2 million.

After a long day of talks, both the Assembly and Senate adjourned Monday night. The Senate will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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