My friend Pax provided this link to a site quoting a statement by Governor Corzine that all NJ state workers will get make-up pay for the days we are unable to work because of the shutdown. This is news to me because we were all given a statement that we would not be paid in the event of a shutdown. We had to sign a sheet showing that we had received the statement and were aware that we would not be paid.
Paying state workers is important for more reasons than the obvious (feeding families, keeping mortgages afloat, etc.). Taking several days pay out of the pockets of that many New Jerseyans will affect many other businesses. Day two of not being paid already has me ratcheting back on spending, and I'm sure it's had that effect in many households.
So the point of the shutdown would be what? I guess the point is the cessation of actual services to the public because services are not funded without an approved budget. If I had gone to work, I would be handling requests for services. Services may not be provided right now because there is no budget to do so.
The state is already losing money on the lottery (which has been stopped until the budget crisis is resolved), and will begin losing megabucks tomorrow if the casinos are closed for business. This is just plain stupid in a year with a budget crunch.
Many New Jerseyans have a disdain for state employees that approaches hatred. Unfortunately, this is due in large part to the fact that our elected representatives malign us to the public for political gains, stabbing us in the back like Brutus stabbed Caesar.
This shutdown of services will likely fan the flames of the public's dislike and distrust of us, especially if we end up being paid in the end. The public should know this: we were expressly told that we MAY NOT report for work during the shutdown if we have been classified as non-essential. We would be sent home by management if we showed up.
I am both a New Jerseyan and a state employee. I want to show up for work, and I want New Jersey to succeed.
And I vote.