Politics & Government

Schwarzenegger warns budget gap may force state layoffs

California's financial troubles have prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to start talking about state layoffs.

But slicing the state payroll takes far more than the flick of a pen.

At a Los Angeles event last week, Schwarzenegger said the state has to look at all areas of government to close the $11.2 billion funding gap this fiscal year.

"I think the longer we wait the more we will have to lay off people from government," he said in response to a question about the state's financial health. "And I think because of the delay now, we are almost, I think, forced – as a matter of fact, we are going to have a meeting … about that, how many people we need now to lay off in order to make ends meet."

Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the governor met last week with advisers about cutting state jobs and other cost-saving measures.

McLear declined to discuss the details, but, he said, "what I can tell you is that the budget shortfall is so serious that we are preparing for more deep cuts."

Unlike Schwarzenegger's recent proposal to furlough state workers one day each month, a governor can impose layoffs without getting state worker unions or the Legislature to go along.

Read the full story at sacbee.com.