State offices in Kentucky will be closed on Friday, May 27, 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 are estimated to save taxpayers approximately $24 million, as well as prevent laying off more than 400 state employees. The savings generated help close a $131 million gap in the state budget in the fiscal year that ends June 30.
State offices will also be closed on Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day.
"While revenue receipts are up slightly, we cannot guarantee that those receipts will keep rising through the end of the fiscal year," said Governor Steve Beshear. "If over the next year our receipts grow enough that we can be sure that our budget will remain balanced, reducing the number of furlough days will be among the first things we look at."
This is the final furlough day of the fiscal year. No furlough days have been scheduled for Fiscal Year 2012 at this time.
In order to keep needed services available, a limited number of state offices have been approved to remain open or partially open on May 27. Facilities providing 24/7 care, such as juvenile justice facilities, have designed furlough schedules that 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 does not apply to the Legislative or Judicial Branches, as the General Assembly only authorized furloughs for the Executive Branch.