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Study Raises Questions About State Furlough Savings

— A legislative leader is calling for alternatives to state worker furloughs.

The move comes on the heels of a new study showing furloughs aren’t saving as much money as anticipated.

According to the state budget the three furlough days a month will save the state more than two-billion dollars this fiscal year.

But, a new study by researchers at UC Berkeley finds that the net savings will actually be closer to $738 million.

Researchers say that’s because of lost tax revenues and the cost of hiring outside contractors.

Senate Democratic Leader Darrell Steinberg says the study supports his idea to allow each state agency to make their own spending cuts.

Steinberg said, “How about one day, or two days of an unallocated cut? Whether it be contracting, whether it be efficiencies. Whether it be other ways to save money rather than put 100 percent of the burden on working families.”

Governor Schwarzenegger’s Press Secretary Aaron McLear is critical of the study. He points out that lawmakers approved the plan to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars during a severe budget crisis.

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