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Senate passes bill giving governor authority to furlough state employees


The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — A bill passed by the Senate would give the governor the authority to furlough state employees in the executive branch if there is a fiscal emergency.

Under Senate Bill 446, if the governor could declare a fiscal emergency if there is a deficit or overdraft in the state fund, an anticipated deficit in the state fund or no budget has been enacted for the current year.

The bill would extend that authority to presiding officers of the House and Senate and the state Supreme Court to furlough legislative and Supreme Court employees.

Employees furloughed would remain eligible for PEIA and the employer would continue to pay a portion of the premium. The bill also would account furlough days toward employees’ retirement. However, employees could not get unemployment benefits while on furlough.

Employees also could have reduced compensation spread out through the year.

The bill passed in a 24-10 vote and is effective from passage. Southern West Virginia senators Sue Cline, Kenny Mann, Jeff Mullins and Ron Miller all voted for the bill, which now moves to the House of Delegates.

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