Beginning Labor Day weekend, state employees in Kentucky must start taking mandatory furlough days. And lawmakers in Frankfort are getting an earful about the plan.
Gov. Beshear has ordered six furlough days for state employees this fiscal year, to save 24-million dollars. The furloughs were approved by the General Assembly, and lawmakers say state workers are anxious to know why the furloughs don’t apply to the Legislative Branch. Rep. Mike Cherry, who co-chairs the State Government Committee, says it’s true the legislature isn’t furloughing employees – it’s laying them off.
“We are drawing down five percent – voluntarily or not, a mixture of both,” he says. “We’re eliminating 23 positions by the end of the year, out of some 400.”
The Judicial Branch, meanwhile, has laid-off around 175 people in the last 10 months. Last week, labor unions that represent more than half of the 32-thousand state workers criticized the Executive Branch furloughs, saying there has to be a better way to save taxpayer dollars.