Two days after Gov. Paterson’s furlough plan was approved by the state legislature (preventing the government from shutting down), a federal judge has temporarily blocked the one-day furlough of state workers scheduled for next week, complicating the governor’s strategy for keeping the state from completely running out of money by the end of the month. District Court judge Lawrence Kahn issued a temporary restraining order against Paterson, in light of a lawsuit from unions representing state employees and public university teachers that posited the furloughs were illegal.
Kahn continued to be a major buzzkill for Paterson as he prevented him from seeking further furloughs until after a May 26 hearing in Kahn’s chambers. He said in his ruling that the furloughs would cause “irreparable harm” and the unions would probably win their case in court, the two factors leading him to hand down the temporary restraining order. State agencies apparently were already making hasty contingency plans when the ruling was announced, temporarily closing a call center run by the State Department of Taxation and Finance and the DMV.
Judge Temporarily Blocks Furlough of State Workers [City Room/NYT]