On July 1st California’s new fiscal year began without a budget. It’s been 24 years since the state had a budget on time. As the Governor had warned he would, on the 1st he issued an order that about 200,000 state workers start being paid minimum wage until a new budget is passed. Interestingly, the order does not apply to a few groups of state workers who belong to bargaining units that have negotiated new contracts with the Governor’s office that make some progress towards reforming out of control pension benefits.
State Controller John Chiang, who cuts state pay checks, told the Sacramento Bee “he won’t follow the order unless a court tells him to.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As one prison guard told me “I’m not putting on a stab-proof vest to go to wok for minimum wage.”