Tuesday, August 05, 2008

California Controller: State Computers Can't Handle Pay Cut

Kevin Yamamura writes in The Sacramento Bee:

If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to issue minimum-wage checks to 200,000 state workers in less than a month, he may want to rehire any semi-retired computer programmers he terminated last week.

The massive pay cut would exhaust the state's antiquated payroll system, which is built on a Vietnam-era computer language so outdated that many college students don't even bother to learn it anymore.

Democratic state Controller John Chiang said Monday it would take at least six months to reconfigure the state's payroll system to issue blanket checks at the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour, though Schwarzenegger insists such a change should occur this month.

Experts say Chiang isn't joking when he describes the state's payroll system as a computing relic on par with vacuum tubes and floppy disks.

More here.


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