Ky. state offices closed Friday for furlough day

 FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) - State offices in Kentucky will be closed on Friday, Sept. 3, as part of the state's budget balancing plan to furlough state government workers a total of six days in Fiscal Year 2011.

The furloughs were authorized by the 2010-12 biennial budget, passed by the General Assembly. The furloughs are estimated to save taxpayers approximately $24 million, as well as prevent laying off more than 400 state employees. 

"By scheduling this furlough day on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, I hope we will lessen the impact to citizens who rely on state services," said Gov. Steve Beshear.  "At the same time, the closure of state offices for this and the other two common days will increase operational savings by decreasing energy and other operational costs."

The vast majority of executive branch state employees are included in the furlough plan, including non-merit employees and merit system employees, full-time and part-time, the Governor and all cabinet secretaries and contract workers.

In order to keep needed services available, a limited number of state offices have been approved to remain open or partially open on Sept. 3. Employees approved to receive an exception and remain at work on Sept. 3 will take their furlough on another day in September.  Below is a list of some of the offices that will remain open and services that will continue:

  • All Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea and state welcome centers and rest areas will be open.
  • State personnel assigned to active highway construction projects will report to work on Sept. 3.
  • The Commonwealth Office of Technology will maintain a small staff to provide systems support for several statewide computer programs, such as: 
    • The Transportation Cabinet's AVIS system, used by county clerks for vehicle registration;
    • The Transportation Cabinet's Kentucky Drivers' Licensing Information System (KDLIS), used by circuit court clerks for drivers' licensing; and
    • The Cabinet for Health and Family Services' Kentucky Automated Support Enforcement System (KASES), used for processing child support disbursements.
  • The Education and Workforce Cabinet's Office of Career and Technical Education, which operates 54 area technology centers throughout the state, will remain functional to service school districts and students.

Facilities providing 24/7 care, such as juvenile justice facilities, have designed furlough schedules which will allow services to continue.  Some training offices will remain open, and emergency response teams will remain available as needed.

A limited number of exemptions have been granted to groups of employees who perform critical services in 24/7 facilities or in public safety.  These employee groups will not take part in the furloughs:

  • Mental health personnel:  Employees who provide direct patient care at state run mental health facilities will not be furloughed to assure appropriate patient care and safety in these facilities.
  • Corrections officers, medical personnel at prisons:  Employees who ensure safety, security and medical needs at 24/7 facilities will not be furloughed to preserve public safety.
  • Kentucky State Police officers and communications personnel:  Uniformed law enforcement officers and telecommunicators for the Kentucky State Police will not be furloughed to ensure the safety and security of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

The furlough plan includes three common days during which state offices will be closed that are adjacent to existing state holiday weekends – Friday, Sept. 3, 2010 (Labor Day weekend) ; Friday, Nov.12, 2010 (Veterans Day weekend); and Friday, May 27, 2011 (Memorial Day weekend). In addition, employees will be furloughed for three other non-designated days during the fiscal year.

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