Schwarzenegger Orders Furloughs to Start After Top California Court Rules

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said 150,000 government workers must begin taking time off without pay starting Aug. 20 following a court ruling lifting an injunction temporarily blocking the furloughs.

The California Supreme Court, saying it would review the governor’s plan, stayed decisions by lower courts that had halted the furloughs. Schwarzenegger directed state workers to take three unpaid days off each month to save cash. The high court set a Sept. 8 hearing on a challenge to the order.

California began its fiscal year on July 1 without a spending plan after Schwarzenegger and Democrats who lead the Legislature remained deadlocked over how to fill a $19.1 billion deficit. The Republican governor on July 28 issued an executive order for the monthly furloughs until a budget is passed.

“The result of the Supreme Court ruling today means that the furloughs will continue until the court says otherwise,” Aaron McLear, a Schwarzenegger spokesman, said by e-mail.

A union for state engineers has sued to block the plan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael B. Marois in Sacramento, California, at Or mmarois@bloomberg.net.

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