Scores of state offices to be closed today
Scores of state offices will be closed today as more than 200,000 workers take their first unpaid day off in response to California’s deepening fiscal crisis.
That means Californians won’t be able to take a driver’s license test or conduct business at some state office buildings.
But, adding to the potential for consumer confusion, some state services and facilities will be open for business as usual.
The state judge who last month upheld the governor’s furlough order said Thursday that his decision did not apply to about 15,600 employees of statewide elected officials, such as the attorney general, schools chief and controller. Administration officials said they may file a lawsuit in coming weeks seeking to also keep those workers home.
Workers in some other departments will take their unpaid days off on a different schedule, and the governor’s office decided Thursday to keep open all one-stop career centers for the unemployed.
Among the closed offices will be all Department of Motor Vehicles outlets, Fish and Game, Food and Agriculture, Social Services and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
The Department of Mental Health will be closed, but mental hospitals will remain open. Workers Compensation offices will be closed.
State parks, which generate revenue from entrance fees, will remain open, as will state courts, the secretary of state’s offices, California Highway Patrol offices and campuses of the University of California, Cal State and California Community Colleges. Public safety employees are exempt from the Friday furloughs and can schedule their days off differently.
In downtown Los Angeles, the Ronald Reagan Building and the Junipero Serra Building will be open and the Caltrans District 7 office will offer limited services.
The closures are part of the governor’s cost-cutting program that requires state employees to take two unpaid days off per month, about a 9% pay cut, which his office estimates will save $1.4 billion through June 2010, the end of the next fiscal year. For many, those days off will be the first and third Fridays of each month.
All statewide elected officials except the governor have said they will not comply with the furlough order.
The governor’s office said its staff will work today but take the pay cut.
The Republican governor and the Democrat-dominated Legislature remain at an impasse over how to balance the state’s budget. The governor has declared a fiscal state of emergency, enabling him to order the furloughs.
Times staff writer Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento contributed to this report.
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Partial list of closed, open offices
As part of the governor’s order to have most state workers take unpaid days off in light of the state’s fiscal crisis, some state offices will be closed today but others will be open. Here is a partial list:
* Department of Motor Vehicles
* Fish and Game (enforcement and some other workers will be working)
* Food and Agriculture (border protection employees and some others will be working)
* Energy Commission
* Housing Finance Agency
* Mental Health (hospitals remain open)
* Real Estate
* Social Services
* Teacher Credentialing Commission
* Veterans Affairs
* Workers Compensation
* California Highway Patrol offices
* California State Lottery
* Constitutional offices, including secretary of state
* Employment Development Department’s “one-stop career centers”
* State Board of Equalization
* State parks (administrative offices closed)
* UC, Cal State and community college campuses
Source: State of California