Idaho state agencies already trimming worker hours through layoffs and unpaid furloughs would have to cut back even more under Gov. Butch Otter’s revised budget. The governor is calling for all state agency employees to take an additional unpaid day off each month for the next year and a half. That move would save $11.7 million during the next six months.
Many state agencies are already going through furloughs and layoffs to reduce their budgets. A report released Wednesday by the budget analysts with the Idaho Legislature show there have been 146 layoffs since the current budget began in July. During that span, 6,043 state workers have taken at least one furlough day. Workers in large agencies, such as the Department of Health and Welfare and the Department of Corrections, haven take two or three unpaid days off during the last six months. Both the layoff and furlough totals are proportionally higher in the current budget than last year’s budget.
Otter isn’t mandating the monthly furloughs, but his cuts to the current budget come out of personnel costs. Agency heads are free to find other ways to save the 1.6 percent reduction to their budget. The Department of Health and Welfare recently announced plans to close most of its offices early twice a month to meet the proposed cuts in Otter's budget.
The $27 million cut to public schools during the next six months also comes out of the personnel budget, but it’s unclear if school workers will also be asked to take furloughs.
Below is a chart of state agencies that have made layoff and instituted furloughs since July.
|State agency||Layoffs||Workers taking furloughs||Furlough days per worker|
|Supt. Of Public Instruction||0||108||1|
|Health and Welfare||46||2,488||2|
|Public Health Districts||2||74||2|
|Idaho State Police||7||3||15|
|Fish and Game||0||1||23|
|Parks and Recreation||1||0||0|
|Dept. of Water Resources||26||149||4|
|Dept. of Administration||1||137||2|
|Div. of Financial Management||0||17||5|
|Gov. Executive Office||0||3||1|
|Human Rights Commission||1||10||4|
|Office of Drug Policy||0||1||6|
|Legislative Services Office||1||66||5|
|Revenue and Taxation||1||386||5|
*The report doesn't include furloughs at state colleges and universities.
**Median of of furlough days in agencies taking furloughs.