Fixing the Furloughs in California

The ongoing saga of worker furloughs in California continues. A judge this week blocked California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan to furlough more than 160,000 state workers across the state.

The governor’s office immediately filed an appeal, and today on “Varney & Co.” Aaron McLear, press secretary for Governor Schwarzenegger, said furloughs were necessary because the government is running out of money.

“As long as we don’t have a budget, the furloughs are necessary” McLear said. “We’re going to run out of cash and do IOU’s this month.”

California did recently receive a lifeline from the federal government. Some of the $26 billion recently passed by Congress to help avert teacher layoffs will go to help employees in California.

Host Stuart Varney pressed McLear on this money, which Varney said amounts to at least a partial bailout of California. “We’re not asking for a bailout,” McLear said. “We’re asking for the money we’re owed and actually they owe us even more than they’ve given us.”

Governor Schwarzenegger has taken action to try and cut California’s deficit. The Governor cut 20% of spending from California’s budget, and McLear says they’re doing more than any previous administration to get the budget under control.

“We are spending less money in this administration than any administration in California history as far as year over year spending increases,” McLear said. “So we’re cutting back. We’re doing exactly what the private sector is doing.”