Friday, July 17, 2009

Furlough Friday

Today is another "Furlough Friday" in California. I don't think the Terminator is searching for John, as he sent me home today without pay. However, he is searching for an elusive CA budget and has both Democrats and Republicans mad at him. The thrust of my career as a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is to help Californians with medical, psychiatric and learning disabilities, high school special education students, parolees from prison, recovering drug and alcohol abusers, etc. become productive employees--a major goal of economic recovery. I am pretty good at it. A extra day off is always nice but I have no shortage of work to do for the people of CA. We definitely need to make cuts, but more desperately need to overcome the ongoing political malaise on all sides that results in government stalemates and inaction.

Currently we are closing our offices three days per month but the demand for services only increases. The State actually loses out on the 77% federal matching funds that go toward our departmental budget. We are doing our part, cutting office costs, service expenditures and about 15% of our salary at this point. A budget will be signed but the deeps cuts, furloughs and budget woes for CA will remain. I am fortunate and happy to have a job but happier when I can be doing my work and contributing even more to the solution. I wonder what Governor Steunenberg would do (making my historical connection here)? Maybe call out the troops like he did in the Coeur d'Alenes, but in this case to surround the Capitol and let no one leave until a budget is signed? Or perhaps erect some "bull pens" in Capitol Park and herd State Senators into one, Assemblymen/women into another. What do you think Arnold?

That's my "meandering" off the beaten path for today. I try to avoid editorializing on this particular blog but just couldn't help myself there for a moment. Too much unpaid furlough time on my hands. John

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