Alameda Superior Court Judge Steven Brick approved a temporary restraining order requested by several state worker unions. It prevents the furloughs from taking effect until at least mid-September. J. Felix De La Torre is a lawyer with SEIU local 1000, one of the biggest unions. He says the judge wanted more proof from the governor’s office that furloughs would help the state’s fiscal situation:
“The judge was not convinced that the furloughing of theses employees was going to do anything to address the 19 billion dollar deficit that was used to justify the furloughs.”
In his ruling Judge Brick argued that the past year and a half of furloughs have depleted state workers’ savings, hurt their credit and have even threatened their ability to afford food and medicine. Governor Schwarzenegger is asking an appeals court for an emergency stay of the decision this week. If granted, furloughs would begin Friday as planned. The Governor says the furloughs are needed because the state faces a cash crunch.