Governor’s minimum-wage plan is Nut(Tree)s

About 180,000 state workers might feel under the gun as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pursues his plan to cut their salaries to the federal minimum wage during the state budget impasse, but they can find solace in at least one place: Vacaville’s Nut Tree Theme Park, responding to the governor’s Executive Order S-09-08 with its own Executive Order F-U-N-08 issuing free unlimited ride passes state workers.

“The Nut Tree Theme Park recognizes the tough times that the state employees are encountering due to the state budget cuts,” the park’s news release says. “The Nut Tree Theme Park would like to reward all state employees for the great job they are doing with a free day of fun.”

State employees must present an employee ID or badge to get the free pass; family members accompanying them can buy the wristbands at 50 percent off. The offer is valid through Oct. 2.

No word on whether the Nut Tree offer extends to the governor himself. But in his bodybuilding days, Schwarzenegger was nicknamed “The Austrian Oak,” and oaks bear acorns, and acorns are nuts, and… oh, never mind.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.