Oct 27, 2009 3:03 PM by Bea Karnes

State workers hit with 4 new furlough days

Gov. Bill Ritter announced Tuesday morning that state employees will be forced to take four additional unpaid furlough days this fiscal year, bringing the total number to eight. The furloughs are needed to balance the state budget, which has suffered because of the worldwide economic downturn. The state constitution requires that the budget be balanced. The eight furlough days will save about $27.2 million.

State workers have already taken two days, with Nov. 27 and Dec. 31 on the calendar as upcoming furlough days.The new dates are Jan. 15, Feb. 12, April 2 and May 28.

"Businesses and families all across Colorado are tightening their belts and making tough decisions," Gov. Ritter said. "So is state government. We're streamlining services, cutting spending and finding smarter, less expensive and more efficient ways of doing business and serving the public. I understand these furlough days will be a hardship on employees and their families, and on those who rely on the services that state employees provide.

"But these difficult economic times demand this sacrifice from all of us - and state employees are stepping up and sharing in the sacrifices that all families and all businesses are making," Gov. Ritter said. "These furlough days are just one of many tough choices we will be making over the coming year to keep the budget balanced in a fair and responsible way.

Gov. Ritter will present the legislature's Joint Budget Committee with a plan to close an additional $270 million shortfall Wednesday morning.


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