Skip to content
Social Security Online
Press Releases
Press Office Home This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures
SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

Social Security Commissioner Astrue Calls for Prompt State Assembly Passage of Bill Ending Furloughs of Federally-Funded State Employees

(Aquí en Español)
Meet the Press Office Skip links
Facts And Figures
Press Releases
PSAs for Radio
PSAs for Television
Congressional Testimonies
SSA Reports
SSA Research
Thursday, February 25, 2010 Mark Lassiter, Press Officer
For Immediate Release 410-965-8904
  press.office@ssa.gov

SOCIAL SECURITY

News Release

Social Security Commissioner Astrue Calls for Prompt State Assembly Passage of Bill Ending Furloughs of Federally-Funded State Employees


Asks Governor to Withdraw Veto Threat and Not Appeal Lawsuit

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today called for the California State Assembly to quickly pass Senate Bill 29.  This bill, which already has passed the State Senate, would end the practice of furloughing Federally-funded state employees, a practice recently held to be illegal by a California superior court judge. 

About 1,500 employees in this category are responsible for reviewing applications for Social Security disability benefits in California.  California's taxpayers, state employees, and disability applicants all are harmed by these furloughs, and no one benefits.  Each furlough day costs the state about $850,000 in administrative reimbursements and delays the payment of over $420,000 in much needed Social Security benefits to  residents’ with disabilities.

“Furloughing disability examiners is incomprehensible under any circumstances, and it is callous in a recession of this magnitude,” Commissioner Astrue stated.  “Congress authorized half a billion dollars under the Recovery Act to hire staff to reduce disability backlogs, and California is thwarting Congress by unilaterally reducing staffing in a punitive way that also hurts the State’s coffers.”

“It is time for Governor Schwarzenegger to renounce his failed furlough policy by withdrawing his veto threat of Senator Steinberg’s Bill 29 and by declining to appeal the decision in the furlough lawsuit.  Fairness, compassion, and common sense all require that result.”

# # #

SSA Press Office  440 Altmeyer Building  6401 Security Blvd.  Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904  FAX 410-966-9973

 Link to FirstGov.gov: U.S. Government portal Privacy Policy | Website Policies & Other Important Information | Site Map
Need Larger Text?