State Workers First Furlough Friday

February 6, 2009 5:39:12 PM PST
The state furloughs forced the closure of several state agencies in the Valley. The biggest impact came at local DMV offices. Still, people showed up at the DMV anyway ... Including some employees.People showed up to the DMV thinking it would be open. Instead, they were greeted by SEIU Union Members ... who formed mini-protests at DMV's throughout the state. They're upset about the employee furloughs ... and want others to feel the same.

They weren't on the clock and they're not getting paid.

Still, DMV employees from all over the Valley were at the DMV in Visalia Friday telling people about Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to shut down several state-run offices every first and third Friday of the month.

"I have a mortgage payment. I have to pay my utility bills, and I realize that California is in the hole, but there's a lot of other people here in California that it should be balanced with them too, not just with state employees," said Clorinda Reynoso.

Not knowing about the state furloughs, people were showing up to the DMV ... only to leave disappointed.

"I'm kinda upset because my license expires on Sunday and now I'm gonna have to retake the test," said Lorie Nelson.

Rodney More said, "It sucks because now I have to wait a whole week to get my truck registered and I have to go to work and stuff and today was really the only day I had off."

Responding to the closure, Governor Schwarzenegger's office released a statement saying quote, "Facing a 42 billion dollar budget hole, state government has to do everything it can to cut back and save money. Families and businesses throughout the state are tightening their belts - so must state government. The furloughs will save the state 1.3 billion dollars ... end quote." Union members say there are options to saving money ... ones that don't include cutting the paychecks of more than 200,000 state employees.

Barbaree Jacquez said, "As the union, we've offered the governor other solutions, other ways to cut, outsource contracting, things like that where he can cut other than state residents who need that income."

People were asking DMV employees if they will get penalized for being a day late on payments and renewal services. Employees say no, especially if they're late because of the Friday closures.

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