UPDATE: Increased state furloughs off the table | NevadaAppeal.com

UPDATE: Increased state furloughs off the table

The governor and lawmakers have tentatively agreed not to increase the furloughs imposed on state workers.

State workers were hit with an 8 hour – one work day – unpaid furlough each month during the 2009 Legislature. That translated to a 4.6 percent pay reduction and was very unpopular with employees.

Gov. Jim Gibbons’ original plan to balance the budget in the face of an $888 million shortfall called for the eight-hour monthly furlough for all state workers to be increased to 10 hours, a move which drew protests from state workers who say they were being hit harder than other public employees.

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said Friday when the loss of merit pay, longevity pay and other cuts are added in, state workers have actually taken an 11 percent reduction.

“That’s probably higher than any other government employees,” she said.

Buckley said lawmakers don’t believe that’s fair so they decided to take the  extra two hours of unpaid leave each month off the table. She said the governor’s office has indicated it will support the decision.

“I’m pleased there appears to be agreement that we will not be increasing the pay and benefit cuts to state employees,” she said.

The decision will add about $6.8 million to the total revenues needed to offset the shortfall.