The State Department of Personnel Administration filed the suit in Sacramento Superior Court. Spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley says it asks State Controller John Chiang to comply with a State Supreme Court decision from 2003. Jolley says that decision requires the state to cut most employees’ salaries down to federal minimum wage in the absence of a budget:
“We don’t think it’s appropriate for us to stall any longer because the supreme court was quite clear in its decision and we believe it’s time to enforce it.”
The Governor issued the Executive Order slashing the pay of about 200-thousand workers two weeks ago. Controller John Chiang says he will not enforce the order. He says the pay cut is unnecessary -- and it would take 6 months to adjust the state’s payroll equipment:
“It could severely impair he state’s treasury, he does it on uncertain legal ground and when you think about the harm he would do to public servants and their workers it could be just devastating.”
Chiang says the Governor’s move is intended to push lawmakers to pass a state budget that’s now more than 40 days late and 15 billion dollars out of whack. Lynelle Jolley says the Department will ask the court to schedule a hearing quickly.