When in 2011 Gov. Brown furloughed state employees during budget cuts, certain groups sued for their money. A lower court supported the action by the Professional Engineers in California Government and California Association of Professional Scientists.
“Superior Court Judge Steven Brick also ruled that about 250 scientists and engineers should receive all wages lost to furloughs — up to 70 days — because their jobs involve cleaning up contaminated military base sites,” The SacBee reports. “The judge agreed with the unions that furloughing them violates provisions of the state’s health and water codes and breaches a constitutional stipulation that legislation may deal with only one main subject.
The lower court’s ruling is baffling. So the state employees were cleaning up military bases? How does that limit the legislature’s authority to make budget cuts?
Anyway, the Brown administration is filing its final briefs in its appeal. “Total back pay for those 13,000 or so engineers and scientists would cost the state an estimated $12 million,” the Bee reports.
Does the governor have the power of the purse strings? Or do the state employee unions? Who elected them?