Faced with a $19.1 billion deficit and no hope for digging out, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday declared a fiscal emergency.
Under the rules of the emergency, Schwarzenegger ordered three furlough days per month for all but essential state employees. State offices will be closed three Fridays a month.
The closures and furloughs will remain in place until a budget is enacted. California government workers are used to the so-called "furlough Fridays," living with them for 12 months, ending this past June.
"Every day of delay brings California closer to a fiscal meltdown," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "Our cash situation leaves me no choice but to once again furlough state workers until the Legislature produces a budget I can sign."
Schwarzenegger also called on other state government entities, including the state university systems, judicial branch and public utilities, to take similar cost-cutting measures.
The Golden State's budget has been stall for weeks as lawmakers can't decide how cut the debt and balance the books. The emergency measures, according to the order, will keep the state's budget crisis from getting worse.
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