San Francisco, Feb 18: The budget impasse prompted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to issue 20,000 layoff notices on Friday, Feb 13. He also halted work on the state's remaining 276 public projects as intransigent Republican lawmakers continued to stonewall efforts to pass a budget.
"In the absence of a budget, the governor has the responsibility to realize savings any way he can," said Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger's spokesman.
Under his executive order, 238,000 employees will be forced to take off two unpaid days per month through June 30, 2010. Managers will receive either the furlough or an equivalent salary reduction during the same period, it is learnt.
The budget impasse prompted legislative leader to hold parliamentarians in their chambers on Tuesday, Feb 17 until they reached an agreement.
As Senate president Darrell Steinberg convened the session on Tuesday he told legislators ' bring a toothbrush, I will not allow anyone to go home to resume their lives or any kind of normal business."
The emergency measures earlier this month had forced the closure of hundreds of state offices for two days a week, the issue of IOU's instead of tax refunds, and a halt to 5,700 other public works projects. This led to the dramatic action on Tuesday, Feb 17.
The impasse has continued since October as the recession forces California to deal with a $42-billion budget deficit over the next two fiscal years.