Furloughs were apparently on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's mind this week, when she released a statement Wednesday criticizing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to furlough employees paid largely through federal funds.
The passage of SBX8 29, the bill that would end furloughs for roughly 80,000 state workers whose salaries are paid largely with money outside the state's general fund, drew support from the California Democrat, who called on Schwarzenegger to sign the bill into law:
“While California must make tough choices as it works to close its budget deficit, furloughing workers whose salaries are fully-funded through the federal government results in the loss of millions of dollars for our state while harming our neediest citizens.
“The Social Security Administration’s Inspector General has found that furloughs of Disability Determination Services workers would cost our state $30.6 million in lost federal funds while delaying $98.5 million per year in disability payments to disabled Californians. California is also dead last among all 50 states when it comes to paying unemployment insurance claims within 21 days, according to the Department of Labor.
“The California Congressional Delegation and I met earlier this year with Governor Schwarzenegger and state legislative leaders to ensure that California will continue to receive the federal funds it needs. Enacting this bill, which passed the Legislature with large, bipartisan majorities, is one simple way to strengthen California. I hope the Governor will sign this bill and end all furloughs for workers funded by the federal government.”
We caught wind of the statement through the blog Calitics, which weighed in on the issue earlier this week.