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December 16, 2008

Maryland state employee furloughs are official

Gov. O'Malley's office just sent out word that he signed an executive order this morning making his furlough plan for state employees official. Looks like it remains pretty much as the governor proposed it a couple of weeks ago. The plan is expected to save $34 million. It comes on a day when the state is getting new (and significantly worse) revenue estimates for this year and next, which means this may not even be the end of it. Here are the details:

All employees subject to this Executive Order shall be required to forego the equivalent of at least two days of pay, and employees making more than $40,000 will also be required to take 16 or 24 furlough hours on or after January 14, 2009 and before June 30, 2009.  Employees earning salaries of less than $40,000 will not be required to take furlough hours, although they will be included in the two days of pay equivalent salary reduction, which are pre-designated for December 26, 2008 and January 2, 2009.  

To mitigate the impact of the required two days salary equivalent reduction on permanent employees, these salary reductions will be spread over the remainder of FY 2009.  Employees earning greater than $40,000 per year, depending on pay, are required to take additional 16 to 24 furlough hours between January 14, 2009 and June 30, 2009.  These additional furlough hours will be in the form of leave without pay, and will be reflected in the actual pay period in which the employees do not work.

Employees in 24/7 health and public safety positions are exempt from these pay reductions.  State employees are encouraged to visit the “State Employees” section of, where the full Executive Order is posted along with Frequently Asked Questions.


Posted by Andy Green at 1:59 PM | | Comments (16)


Thanks for the Christmas furlough Marty. Why do the state employees need to pay for the mismanagement of the states resources by these clowns in office?

We had a great gov with a surplus but the democrats in Maryland couldn't stand a republican running things. Stop complaining because you probably voted for Marty anyway. You got what you voted for Maryland

Hey, times are tough. This state employee is willing to take the pay cut in recognition of fiscal realities. Merry Christmas to all.

Everyone but O'Malley saw this coming 2 years ago. He kept spending on new projects, buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of land, and did NOT prepare for the slower economic times.

He needs to be permanently furloughed in 2 years!

I agree. MERRY CHRISTMAS MARTIN O MALLEY. Again you want to balance the state budget on the employees who do the work. I am not sure how $34 million will help the budget. Why not work on all the boarded up homes in the city and that would help with revenue........

Thanks to all the true-believer's who voted for him. We need to get rid of him in the next election.

Though I really feel badly for anyone who has to take a paycut, and that is what this furlough scheme is -- a paycut of 1% to 2.5% for each state employee. I believe the legislative branch of state government should not be exempt from this plan. The legislators got us into this mess by spending money based on the highly anticipated income from transfer taxes and property taxes of already bloated real estate values. Did they not realize we were in a bubble? If a furlough is good for one branch, it should be good for all branches of Maryland government.

Martin O’Malley is the worst manager of resources and funds ever seen in this state, overshadowed only by his own incompetence as a manager of the city. Yet the blame lies solely on the very people he has deceived, as many of you voted time and time again for uselessness. Take your furlough days to educate yourself and learn that voting has consequences and that your ignorance (like his direction) is hurting you and your family, as well as mine.

does the Governor have to take a ferlough also? i hope so, i think the state could benefit greatly if he did. the longer he's goen the greater the benefit.

Great way to start the holidays! What's interesting is the money the state is spending on Base Realignment yet are letting millions fall by the way side by means of tax credits, economic incentives. Let the big companys or the feds pay their fair share. And with the furloughs, where will it stop. I dare to say that the state employee will be paying next year by not recieving increments or colas, but will bet the shaft by means of high co-pays. What's amazing is that the state employee has never recovered from the loses suffered in '91 under Gov. Schaeffer. It's amazing how the cost of living adjustments never reach the state employee in order to stay status quo, but let there be a shortage, and bam! we get hit first. Thanks Owe Malley!

I think it is just the tough time for everyone. It won't be surprising to see the average salary for people will shrink after it increased a lot in the last few years (per

JSW: There have to be resources to manage! You are missing the point. Go read revenue data. We ALL need to pay.

When the slots legislation passed, I was told that the sky opened, light shone down from the heavens, angels sang, and... this will deliver the State from every financial hardship!

What happened, Marty?

Check out this video related to furloughs and other budget cuts that are hurting public employees. It's time for employees to get active and fight back.

The worst thing to do in a recession is to cut government spending especially people's jobs. Wow, what makes me shake my head is the fact that MD creates an HSA test that asks the question about what to do an economic low and the answer is to increase government spending and yet they do the opposite.

Why can't MOM work for no pay like some other state govenors? After all his wife is still working he sold his home in Baltimore and he has free rent while he is Govenor.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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