March 3, 2010

About the furlough bill - SB 6503

You’ve created so much pressure that the furlough bill, SSB 6503, has been stalled for several weeks in the House. We hope it never comes to a vote. However, furlough language is in both the House and Senate budgets.

One point of confusion you’ve asked us to clear up so here goes:
  • There are several proposed amendments to the furlough bill that also await floor action if and when the House takes up SSB 6503. 
  • Those floor amendments are not a done deal. Some managers have created a stir by going to the legislative website, seeing the floor amendments and concluding they’ve been approved. Again, they have not. 
    • Those current seven floor amendments include the one from Rep. Ross Hunter that would take away your personal holiday (which the Legislature can’t do to represented employees without negotiations) and formally backdating the thumbs down on your original contracts that, as you recall, were re-negotiated last year when the Legislature effectively vetoed funding. 
    • The other floor amendment getting attention is the one from Rep. Brendan Williams that would cut legislators’ daily allowance (“per diem”) by an amount equivalent to any pay cut caused to state employees by the furlough bill. Again, these are proposed amendments that have not been adopted.

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