But what about defaulting on those sacred contracts, California GOP?
Anyone who watched the Bank disaster/crimes/frauds unfold and saw these big CEOs and their GOP cohorts cry about the sanctity of the contracts guaranteeing vasts sums of (our government) money for their bonuses and salaries for destroying the economy has to be looking on at the GOP making a mockery of "The Sanctity of Contracts" as they ignore the salary requirements in the State workers employee contracts in order to drop their pay to minimum wage. What kind of activism from a judge do you have to have for them to consider the the outside influence of an incompetent state government and not factor in the awesomeness of the "The Sanctity of Contracts"?
Yes, I am simultaneously mocking the jokes that are the right wing's recent "sanctity of the contract" and endless use of "judicial activism" talking points while spinning the closer to the truth story of using the elites disaster to destroy the little guys wages, across the nation we can witness this tactic being replicated, but below The Maddow Blog explains the excuses of why California courts say it is legal:
So, here's how I piece it together. Let me know if you know different:
- In 1997 and 1998, taxpayer groups sought to make the state government more accountable by suing them for spending taxpayer money without a budget. The argument is simple enough. If you don't have a budget, you don't know what you should be spending money on so you shouldn't spend any money.
- Both of those years, a budget was passed shortly thereafter, making the suits moot but the court continued to work on some of the issues raised.
- In 2003 White v. Davis concluded that state workers don't have a right to full wages when there's no budget and the controller doesn't have the right to pay them anyway if there's no budget. Somewhere along the way it was also determined that state workers couldn't get zero dollars because that would violate federal labor laws, so while the state can't pay them their regular rate, they at least have to be paid minimum wage per federal law.
- In 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger tried to play the no budget/no pay card but again a budget came soon enough thereafter that he didn't have to really do it (though it's funny to see it mentioned in the 2010 DPA letter - apparently at that time Chiang tried to say he couldn't cut the wages because no one knew how to make the payroll computer do that).
- But again there were legal challenges and again the court kept on it despite politics moving on.
- July 1, 2010, no budget again, DPA writes a letter telling the controller to stop the paychecks.
- July 2, 2010, the court essentially upholds the 2003 ruling in its decision on the 2008 executive order.
But even still, the answer to the question in my headline on this post isn't so cut-and-dry. Yes, in the event that there's no budget, the governor can stop paying state workers except for what is federally required as minimum wage, but what else is decided in the 2003 ruling is that state workers who work while there's no budget aren't volunteers and therefore should be paid the full amount they're owed once a budget is passed. So minimum wage for everyone - for now.
I have to wonder if the judges narrowly deciding these things based solely on politicians failures and not factoring in state's obligations not only to just pay the workers when there is a budget passed but to pay them timely as their contracts no doubt specify and regardless of budgets passed or not - because I doubt there is a "Governor, Senate and House are incompetent boobs that can't budget" clause in their contracts - are paid by the state?
I hope they do get paid by the state of California because these activist judges - and many of the politicians involved - destroying the "small man" would be about the only ones there getting paid both minimum wage AND what they are worth for stupidity like that.
Just my two cents, but I am sure others may disagree. Some might think decisions like these would leave those judges and politicians over paid at minimum wage.