Attorneys representing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have asked an appellate court to block the order that ended "Furlough Fridays" for tens of thousands of state workers, but leaves others taking off three unpaid days each month.
The governor's move came just four days before the government is scheduled to shut down again. The court will probably act quickly, legal experts said, given that informal deadline.
But some state workers, who just a week ago were celebrating a furlough lawsuit win that they hoped would return regular schedules and full pay to at least some colleagues, were feeling whipsawed by the governor's latest move.
"People were happy," said Renee Lee, an activist with Service Employees International Union Local 1000. "Now they're mad again. They want this to end. People just want to get on with their lives."
The uncertainty also comes as state workers and their families are trying to plan for a holiday weekend. State offices are closed Wednesday for Cesar Chavez Day, and many workers made Easter weekend plans thinking Friday was a furlough day. Until the judge rules, they won't know for sure.
The governor's appeal seeks to delay Alameda County Judge Frank Roesch's order to end furloughs for employees in about 70 departments that get a significant slice of their budgets from sources outside the state's deficit-ridden general fund. Those departments employ roughly a third of the 200,000 employees on furlough.
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