How are state agencies handling furloughs? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How are state agencies handling furloughs?

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

ATLANTA, GA (WTVM) -  Georgia's budget is in the red. To help make up for the state's growing deficit, teachers and workers in every state agency are being forced to take three furlough days.

Agencies like the Department of Agriculture. A memorandum went out to all employees Tuesday. They're being furloughed for one day in September, October, and November.

In addition, the state is cutting more than $2 million from their budget.

Health Department officials say each of their employees must choose one furlough day during each of the following 3 time periods:

1. 1st Furlough Day during the week of Sept 16-30

2. 2nd Furlough Day during October 16 - 30

3. 3rd Furlough Day during Nov 16 - 30

But furlough days aren't news to everyone.

Back in May, The Georgia Department of Natural Resources instituted a 6 month staggered furlough schedule for workers.

All DNR employees must take one furlough day a month from July to December.

"There was a 39% cut to our Parks and Historic Sites Division and they have certainly had some difficult cuts there. That's obviously a very large cut but like all other state agencies, we've had cuts across the Department of Natural Resources that necessitated furloughs," said Lauren Curry, Director of Public Affairs for Georgia DNR.

Even though times are tough, DNR officials say six days off without pay beats the alternative.

"That enables us to keep jobs while we weather this storm so we certainly wanted to go to furloughs before we looked at layoffs," Curry added.

News Leader 9 also spoke with the Georgia Department of Labor. The department's communications director says: "We're looking into how we will deal with the furloughs. But whatever decision is made, it will not affect service to the clients."


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