Commentary: California having too many furloughs

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's apparent decision to impose a fourth furlough day won't just devastate state worker households already pushed to the brink by the three unpaid days off he's already imposed.

It could very well prevent the government that the governor claims to be trying to save from performing its legally mandated functions.

The decision to impose a fourth furlough day, something that seemed unimaginable weeks ago, was reported Thursday by the Bee's Jon Ortiz.

According to Ortiz, the governor's latest budget proposal sought a nearly 20 percent state worker pay cut made up of the thrice-monthly furlough days, and an additional 5 percent salary reduction. Since the Legislature will never agree to the pay cut, the only way to reach the 20 percent goal is for the governor to exercise the emergency powers a Sacramento judge decided in February he could wield, and impose a fourth unpaid day off.

People who don't work for the state might not particularly care. But anyone who tried to do business in a state office shut by the return of Furlough Fridays two days ago realizes that state workers aren't the only folks who will be affected.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.