May revise


State Worker Pay To Come Under Gov. Brown’s Budget Ax

Flickr/Clinton Steeds

As Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to release the “May revise” of his proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, sources in his administration are letting it be known that the governor will be asking public employees to take a hit.

Tax revenues are $3.5 billion less than expected, further widening the budget gap, and Brown needs to find the money somewhere. Here’s more from Sacramento Bee reporter Jon Ortiz:

Officials representing Gov. Jerry Brown met with state employee union leaders last week and delivered the news: A budget revision he’ll release Monday includes a new proposal to cut payroll costs in the upcoming fiscal year.

The decision to take a bite out of state workers’ pay comes amid a deepening California budget deficit that Brown pegged in January at $9.2 billion through 2012-13 but now is thought to be considerably more.

The sources, who declined to talk on the record because the administration asked all involved to keep the budget discussions secret, said Brown’s representatives didn’t outline specific cuts. They said the governor wants to cut payroll costs by at least 5 percent, and asked union leaders to come up with ways to make the reductions.

Brown has the authority to lay off workers, but any other reductions – a pay cut or furloughs, for example – require bargaining or legislation.

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For state employees, the news is a reminder of the furloughs and layoffs of the Schwarzenegger years.

For Republicans, it suggests a ploy to win favor for the governor’s tax increase measure moving toward the November ballot.

The details will be revealed Monday when Brown unveils his budget revision plan.