Gov. Gregoire signs furlough bill for state workers

The Bellingham Business Journal

Under a new bill signed by Gov. Chis Gregoire April 27, many state employees will be required to take 10 unpaid days off during the upcoming fiscal year in order to trim $49 million from the state budget.

State agencies are directed to reduce employee compensation costs through various methods: furloughs, reduced work hours, voluntary retirements or layoffs. Agencies that fail to submit a plan for reducing costs will have to take 10 specified furlough days, starting July 12 and spread out over the following year. Most of those days are Fridays or Mondays and were chosen to combine with holiday weekends.

Some agencies are exempt from the furloughs, including prisons and law enforcement, social services, parks, highways and ferries. Employees who earn less than $30,000 a year are also exempt.

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