Published: Oct 04, 2010 7:55 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2010 4:55 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order to furlough state workers, dealing a major victory to part of the governor's budgeting plans.

The court issued its unanimous ruling Monday. It concluded that the state Legislature's 2009 budget legislation validated the governor's furlough program.

State employee unions have been challenging Schwarzenegger's order since he implemented two-day-a-month furloughs for more than 200,000 state workers in February 2009. He later expanded it to three days a month, which has translated to a pay cut of roughly 14 percent for government employees.

Schwarzenegger said the move was intended to save money as California faced a severe budget crisis, but his order prompted the filings of more than two dozen lawsuits.