California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Thursday eliminated 22,000 part-time and temporary government jobs to save cash as the state faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit, dpa reported.
He also ordered that 200,000 state workers receive the federal minimum wage until the 2008-2009 state budget is approved.
"Today I am exercising my executive authority to avoid a full- blown crisis and keep our state moving forward," Schwarzenegger said.
"This is not an action I take lightly, but we do not have a budget, and as governor, I have a responsibility to make sure our state has enough money to pay its bills," his statement said.
His order states that since June 2008, the unprecedented number and size of fires in California "created states of emergency that have required additional and substantial expenditures of cash to ensure that there are sufficient resources to effectively fight these fires and save lives and homes."
The 22,000 jobs to be eliminated include those of seasonal employees, temporary workers, student assistants and retired state employees who work under contracts.
As for the salary cuts, the governor cited a 2003 California Supreme Court ruling, which permits him to slash the pay of regular full-time employees when the state lacks a budget.
According to the law, these workers must be paid the federal minimum wage of 6.55 dollars an hour and will be reimbursed once a budget is approved.