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Lingle, staff to take furloughs


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POSTED: Friday, July 17, 2009

With labor talks between the state and the public worker unions still stalled, Gov. Linda Lingle put some pressure on the unions yesterday by announcing that her Cabinet would be taking a pay cut equal to two furlough days a month through two years.

Lingle said the furloughs, combined with the 5 percent pay cut Cabinet officers took along with legislators and judges, is equal to a salary cut of 13 percent for this fiscal year and about 13.7 percent for the next fiscal year.

That is about the same pay cut savings the governor hoped to achieve by furloughing all state workers for three days a month for two years.

“;I hope it shows to the entire community that we are leading by example,”; she said. “;To the extent that the unions are part of the community, they should recognize that as well.”;

The executive furloughs will save about $1.2 million, Lingle said.

At a news conference, she said the 5 percent pay cut informally proposed by the public workers unions was unacceptable, and the state still needed the three-day-a-month pay cut.

“;Clearly, we proposed three furlough days. That is what we continue to believe we need, that amount or an equivalent,”; Lingle said.

Union leaders did not respond to calls for comment after the announcement.

;[Preview]  Governor Lingle Announces Decision To Furlough Cabinet
 

Governor Lingle announced that starting next month she and the lieutenant governor along with cabinet members and deputies will be taking two furlough days a months for the next two years.

Watch ]

 

To show solidarity with the Republican governor, the six GOP members in the House issued a statement saying they decided “;to take a voluntary pay cut equivalent to a two-day furlough.”;

Earlier this year the state Legislature lowered executive and legislative salaries by 5 percent, partly in reaction to the public outcry after lawmakers took a 36 percent pay raise in January.

Lingle said while the executive order calls for furloughs, she expects that she and her Cabinet officers and deputies will still be working.

She said she is expecting the state's economy to continue to deteriorate and that the Legislature's action this week to override 38 of her vetoes did not help.

Lingle told reporters that if any of the bills lawmakers overrode contained money, she simply would not allocate the funds.

“;Anything with money attached will not be released,”; Lingle said.