Judge Ends Furlough Fridays

FRESNO, California Owner Kay Lim said, "Oh, business slowed down. We noticed that. When DMV's open people would come in for lunch."

The goal of the unpaid furloughs was to save the state money, but cutting the pay of about one hundred thousand state workers by 15%, ripped through the state's economy. Hurting state workers, and private companies.

Jeff Fowler a Cal-Trans employee who represents the Service Employees International Union puts it this way; "They've already estimated about 1.6 billion dollars statewide the furloughs have cost California taxpayers and about 10,400 jobs have been lost because of the furloughs."

An Alameda County Judge has ruled the furloughs were illegal for about 70-thousand state workers who were employed by "Special Fund" agencies like Cal-Trans, which is not financed by the state's general fund, but by federal dollars and gasoline taxes. Or the DMV, which generates money through fees. The judge ruled the furloughs were causing irreparable harm to the states taxpayers, and the affected employees.

Fowler said, "Oh, it's great. A lot of our members are completely ecstatic right now. Right now so many people have lost their homes, lost their cars, maxxed out their credit cards, so it's a huge relief for us."

The judge ruled Furlough Fridays must end immediately. That means workers at the DMV and other agencies could be on the job on the next scheduled furlough day, Friday April 2nd.

That's good news for Kay Lim who's hoping to get a boost in business on those three Fridays a month.

"I think that would be great. Great for the state and great for us too," said Lim.

The Governor's office says he will appeal the judge's ruling.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.