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Supreme Court says Lingle’s furlough plan should not have been blocked

The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled today that a state judge should not have blocked Gov. Linda Lingle’s unilateral plan to impose furloughs last year on state government workers.

Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto did not have the authority to issue the injunction because the challenge to the plan by the Hawaii Government Employees Association should have first gone to the Hawaii Labor Relations Board, Acting Chief Justice Paula Nakayama wrote in behalf of the 4-1 court majority.

The court noted that the dispute is “moot” because Lingle and the union resolved the dispute with the current furlough plan.

But the court said the issue was important enough for the justices to rule on whether the injunction was properly issued.

Associate Justice Simeon Acoba dissented.

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