Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Idaho News

State Workers Plan Furloughs
BOISE—A slowing Idaho economy is forcing some Idaho State Government agencies to implement cost- saving measures over the holidays.

The Idaho Department of Agriculture and the Attorney Generals Office will furlough their staffs for two days without pay between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Governor Butch Otter says the furloughs are a viable solution in times of budget cuts and declining revenues. The Governor told the Spokesman Revue that taking a few days off without pay is much better than laying employees off.

"They're taking two days out of the year where there's precious little activity," said Otter. The Agriculture Department told its 325 workers to take the Friday after Thanksgiving off and the day after Christmas off without pay. The furlough vacations will save the agencies several thousands of dollars.

According to the Budget Office the average employee cost the state $155.00 a day; with 300 employees, an agency can save the state more than $46, 500.

Meanwhile Governor Otter is looking at the second budget cut of the year because of declining tax revenues.

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