Poll: Was Gov. Schwarzenegger right to order another furlough day?
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republicans in the Legislature are playing hardball with their Democratic counterparts: No new taxes, balance the budget with cuts and -- as Schwarzenegger ordered earlier today -- force state employees to take a third monthly furlough day, further reducing their pay. According to The Times' article, thousands of public employees plan to show up in Sacramento today to protest the additional pay cut.
The third imposed furlough day opens a deeper divide in one of the more drawn-out battles of this year's budgeting process: the one pitting public-employee unions and their Democratic allies in the Legislature against Schwarzenegger and state Republicans, who seemed to have rekindled their relationship after the May 19 special election. It's a topic being debated in this week's Dust-Up exchange between Jon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. and John Tanner, executive director of SEIU Local 721, which represents tens of thousands of government employees in Los Angeles County (their third and final exchange, in which they mull ideas to preserve state services in this budget crisis without reducing pay or laying off workers, will be posted later today). In the comments board for Monday's Dust-Up installment, several readers have come down on the side of Schwarzenegger and the GOP, posting comments similar the one left by "Pete":
Photo: Service Employees International Union protest Schwarzenegger's proposed furloughs and state employee pay cuts Tuesday, June 30 (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)