State employees are finally going to see the elimination of the unpaid furloughs, if Gov. Brian Sandoval has his way.
The second-term governor’s proposed budget, unveiled Thursday night during his State of the State speech, also includes continuation of the merit salary increases for classified employees reinstated this current fiscal year.
Many — particularly new state workers — were hard hit by elimination of the steps, which held them for some five years at the base entry pay level where they started.
“My budget no longer requires state employees to take furloughs,” Sandoval said. “They have made great sacrifices and I thank them for their service.”
Budget officials say the state can’t afford to give workers those step raises — worth about 5 percent a year — retroactively. But the budget will continue the steps into this next biennium, which will give workers not at top scale in their classification nearly 10 percent more pay over the next two years.
Those employees, however, will be hit by an effective 1.125 percent pay cut because the Public Employees Retirement system board has ordered a 2.25 percent increase in retirement premiums, split 50-50 between state and the employee.
The 2.3 percent reduction in pay through furloughs was first enacted in fiscal year 2010. It was previously reported furloughs saved the state about $20 million a year.
The end of furloughs was included in the governor’s two-year $7.3 billion budget. He’s seeking the approval of $1.14 billion in additional revenues from the Republican controlled Legislature.
The Legislature convenes Feb. 2.