Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the four dates that state employees will be taking unpaid furloughs this year. The Governor also said he will be returning the equivalent of four days of his own pay to the state treasury. The four furlough days will be:
·         Tuesday, Sept. 8 (the day following Labor Day)
·         Friday, Oct. 9 (the day before the Columbus Day weekend)
·         Friday, Nov. 27 (the day following Thanksgiving)
·         Thursday, Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve)
Public safety and other essential state workers will be exempted from the furloughs. The furloughs will be part of a comprehensive budget-cutting plan to close a nearly $400 million shortfall in FY09-10. The governor and legislature already have erased a $1.4 billion gap in fiscal years 08-09 and 09-10.
"We've done a good job protecting essential safety-net services and our investments in the economy, education and healthcare," Gov. Ritter said. "This new round of cuts will be harder. It will be painful, and virtually every state service will be impacted.
"But we will make the tough decisions that families and business all across the state are making. The budget will be balanced, and it will be done fairly and responsibly," Gov. Ritter said. "Protecting the public's health, life and safety will be an extremely high priority, as will job protection and creation. Every option is on the table, and shared sacrifice will be part of the solution, and that includes sacrifice on the part of state employees."
Gov. Ritter also said he will be returning four days of his own pay – $1,254.32, or $313.58 per day – to the state. "As an elected official, I can't be furloughed. But I can and will do my part, so I'll be writing a check for about $1,200 back to the treasury," Gov. Ritter said. "If there are additional furlough days, I'll return those amounts to the state as well. This is going to require sacrifice on the part of everyone."
Gov. Ritter said he and his administration will continue to craft the $400 million budget-cutting plan over the next few weeks, consulting with lawmakers and stakeholders and taking public input. The proposed plan will be released for public review in August, with expected implementation in September.