Louisville Metro Council President Jim King is asking his colleagues if they plan to participate in Mayor Greg Fischer’s recommended furloughs for city employees.
As part of his plan to fill a $22.5 million shortfall, Fischer ordered a one week unpaid furlough for all nonunion city employees who make more than $70,000 a year. All other employees were asked to volunteer for at least a one-day furlough.
In a statement, King says he wants all 26 council members, who earn about $42,000 per year, to volunteer, and Majority caucus spokesperson Tony Hyatt thinks they will.
“There’s still a feeling that if it helps avoid layoffs of city employees it’s practical, and again I think everybody likes the aspect that for people under $75,000 it is voluntary and it can be stretched out for over a year within the budget year,” he says.
A spokesperson for the minority caucus says Council Republicans also support the voluntary furloughs.
King is also asking council members if their aides or staff will take the furloughs.
“Well I don’t know if you’re going to have too much of a problem with legislative aides or staff people, but if you’re talking about the receptionist and the people who work for the Metro Council who may not be high up in the salary end, I think there may be some talk as to whether or not they can afford to do it,” says Hyatt.
For elected officials, a furlough may not be possible. Instead, council members will have to reimburse the city for any furlough days taken.