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Another Legal Action to Governor’s Plan for Furloughs

It's another day and another legal action against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The challenges continue to his decision to furlough state employees and cut their pay ten percent to preserve cash.  From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

The Professional Engineers in California Government have filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior court over the Governor's action.  The group represents some 13-thousand engineers and related professions. Its Executive Director Bruce Blanning says the Governor does not have the authority to do this.  He also says it makes no sense.

Blanning: At a time when we're trying to get more projects out to construction and create jobs and help the slumping economy recover that the executive order would tell people who are working on expediting these projects, the engineers who work for CalTrans and other agencies to stay home…

On Friday the Governor ordered layoffs and pay cuts to address the state's deteriorating financial situation. It includes unpaid furloughs for most state employees two days a month-a roughly ten percent pay cut.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Personnel Administration says it is their view the Governor has the authority to take the steps in light of the current fiscal emergency. 

Representatives of the Service Employee International Union announced Friday that they would file an action with the state Public Employment Relations Board.

They claim the move is an unfair labor practice.  The State Controller has warned California will run out of cash in less than 70 days. 

In Sacramento, I'm Jenny O'Mara.

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