Schwarzenegger Seeks to Consolidate Furlough Cases

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration on Tuesday asked the California Supreme Court to consolidate and review seven cases related to the governor’s furlough authority, including a recent Alameda Superior Court decision on “special fund” workers that is under appeal.

Four of the cases are at the Third District Court of Appeal, while three are at the First District Court of Appeal. The administration stated in its Tuesday petition that the California Supreme Court should consolidate the cases because lower courts have issued conflicting opinions on the extent of Schwarzenegger’s furlough authority.

“All of these appeals involve common issues of law and fact because they all present challenges to the Governor’s authority to direct furloughs of state employees by way of Executive Order,” the petition states.

Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch last week ordered the state to end furloughs for tens of thousands of state workers whose departments are financed by revenue streams outside the state’s general fund. His decision also ordered the state to pay those workers for lost wages since Schwarzenegger began furloughing them 13 months ago. But that decision was immediately put on hold when the state filed an appeal last week.

Besides seeking a consolidation of the appeals, Schwarzenegger lawyers have asked the state Supreme Court to stay all remaining trial court actions on furloughs.