by David Ammons | March 16th, 2010
Furloughs – or “temporary layoffs” – are still being considered as one way to help close a big state government budget gap. It’s still not clear whether the final budget plans will actually lead to agencies shutting for a day a month, as some states have done.
The Senate voted 30-11 on Tuesday to keep the money-saving idea alive. The revised legislation, Senate Bill 6503, envisions saving roughly $50 million by imposing 10 days-off-without-pay during the upcoming fiscal year – or saving an equivalent sum by other means, such as layoffs, retirements, reduced hours and so forth. At least $10 million of the savings would come from on management positions exempt from civil service and union membership. A number of jobs are exempt from the furloughs, including prisons, ferries, highways, money-making operations like the Lottery and liquor stores, and higher education instructional staff. K-12 also is exempt. Employees making less than $30k could use sick leave or vacation days for their furloughs.
The measure went over to the House, which has favored a general plan to save a similar amount of money, but without all of the exemptions and without emphasizing furloughs. So stay tuned.