(full disclosure: I work for the Courage Campaign)
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
announced last night that he will sign an Executive Order on Monday slashing the wages of over 200,000 state employees to the bare minimum.
Not California's minimum wage of $8 per hour. The federal minimum wage of $6.55. Six dollars and fifty-five cents an hour.
Imagine trying to pay your bills on $6.55 an hour. Now imagine what will happen to thousands of vital service workers like the people who make sure that child abusers don't teach in schools, those who take care of the developmentally disabled, laundry workers who take care of our vets, or license inspectors for foster homes, all forced to live on poverty-level wages. A nauseating irony: many state employees may need to seek aid from the very state services that employ them.
The Governor's plan, rather than fixing California's massive $15 billion budget deficit, will instead make our budget crisis worse while delivering a serious blow to our struggling economy. As the recession deepens, gas prices skyrocket, stores close, and home foreclosures surge, the governor's wage cuts will force many working families over the financial edge.
This is absolutely outrageous. And the only way we can stop Arnold is by raising our voices as loud as possible in protest before 9 a.m. on Monday.
Please join thousands of people in signing the Courage Campaign's petition to Governor Schwarzenegger. On Monday morning, I will personally deliver your signatures to the governor's office in the State Capitol.