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Reporting from Sacramento - Staff shortages are forcing tens of thousands of state workers employed at prisons and other around-the-clock institutions to report to work on their furlough days -- and the state is paying them with what amount to IOUs that will be costly to taxpayers, according to a Senate report to be released today.
In the long run, the state will save far less than the $1.7-billion touted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when he ordered state workers furloughed three days a month, the report concludes.
"Really what is happening in these facilities is the state is not reducing hours, they're just deferring paychecks," said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who ordered the report.
"Plain and simple, it's a poorly thought-out program."
In the case of the prison healthcare system, the furloughs are actually costing the state tens of millions of dollars, the report states.