A budget crisis has a way of interfering with people’s better judgment, but cooler heads often prevail.
On March 24, state legislature budget writers passed a resolution to recommend the state legislature require all state employees to take three days off in April and May. This would presumably help remedy funding problems caused by $809 million in general fund cuts the state has had to make this year.
CSU faculty members are state employees and would have had to take the three days off.
But on Wednesday, the Joint Budget Committee – the cooler heads – killed the proposal.
The proposal should have been killed because it is an unsound and temporary fix.
In late 2002, the state decided to pay state employees one day later at the end of the 2002-2003 fiscal year in June to provide temporary budget relief. While this will free up a little money and give the state a little room to work with for this year, the state will have to pay it in 2003-2004 and make that year’s budget even tighter if the economy doesn’t get better.
Temporary solutions are just that and should not be the way the state deals with budget problems – especially when the state seems to be coming up with too many temporary fixes.
Making state employees take three days off is another temporary fix, and one that could hurt potential economic growth.
Taking away the money from the state employee cuts into individual budgets. Making things tighter on the worker is going to make the person cut down on his or her own spending, which would further hurt the economy.
It is simply wrong to take money away from employees just because the state cannot figure out how to fix its own problems.
Thankfully, some smart people realized the furlough was a bad idea because it merely puts off problems instead of seeking sound long-term economic policy, which is what we really need.