The state currently has a 19 Billion dollar deficit (that would be Billion, with a "B") which has yet to be addressed by the Democrat controlled state legislature. The Legislature's failure to act has left the state with a financial shortfall and without a spending plan as the new fiscal year begins. In response Schwarzenegger ordered the state workers' pay temporarily cut to the federal minimum wage as a stop gap measure, the back owed payments to be repaid once the state has funded its expenditures.
Governor Schwarzenegger's action was initially challenged in court. Just Friday, a state appellate court ruled in Schwarzenegger's favor, affirming the governor does have the power to make such changes in dealing with the state's budget woes. However, John Chiang, a Democrat elected in 2006 and the state controller who issues state paychecks, says he cannot comply. He cited the state's computer system as the reason, claiming the technological challenge of restating paychecks to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour was just too difficult to tabulate, and asserted the computerized payroll system won't be able to be programmed for such a highly complicated calculation until October 2012. (!)
Mr. Chiang referred to a loophole in the courts ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeals, which said "unfeasibility" would excuse him from complying with Schwarzenegger's minimum wage order.
Let's see here. To comply Mr. Chaing would have to instruct the computer's writing paychecks to set reimbursement rates for all the states employees to $7.25 per hour, then cut checks accordingly.
I have to tell you, it is a rare day when we have government employees citing their own incompetence as a reason for their inability to effect change. I'm not even a computer guy, but I can tell you if all you have to do is reset the wage as $7.25 an hour for all employees that looks like a pretty simple task. Can't get it done until October of 2012? It's going to take Mr. Chiang twenty seven months to get it done? What's this clown thinking? Even if he wrote out all 200,000 checks by hand, it wouldn't take him two and a quarter years to do it. Sheesh, no wonder these guys are in trouble.
Okay Dr. Greenlick, here is your state controlled bureaucracy functioning at its finest.