State Controller John Chiang, who last week announced his intent to ignore the Governor’s Executive Order reducing the salaries of state employees to the federal minimum wage during the budget impasse, issued a new statement this morning — he claims that even if he wanted to comply with the Governor’s order, the ‘antiquated’ computer system used by the state to manage and issue payroll would not allow it.

I don’t ever recall reading about the payroll system causing a 6-9 month delay in processing wage and salary increases for the state’s workforce — maybe the delay only occurs in one direction?

Nonetheless, I do understand how such a change could be so complex. Sure, updating 200,000 database records is considered a fairly straightforward function in the technology world and likely requires so little processing power that your average Blackberry, iPhone or graphing calculator could accomplish the task within the requisite timeframe, but we must be careful not to expect too much all at once.

Here’s a suggestion for the Controller – maybe it’s time to switch?