State legislators and Gov. Chris Gregoire plan to work at the Capitol Friday. But many state agencies will close doors to the public as part of another temporary layoff, or unpaid furlough, meant to save money.
The Department of General Administration advised agencies today that some Capitol Campus building will be closed and some services like restroom cleanup is to be suspended or offered on a reduced basis. But visitors can still get in to tour the Legislative Building and food service operations are to be open in the Legislative, Employment Security, Natural Resources, and Transportation buildings.
GA says that mail, parking and Motor Pool services are closed.
The Governor's Office and Gregoire’s Office of Financial Management are working because the Legislature's furlough bill last year exempted them during sessions. Legislators and their staffers also are on duty and may be working their last day before they break for a special session next week or later in the spring.
More than 25,000 workers were affected by some past furloughs, but some agencies have fulfilled their savings quota for the year. A more exactc list is due tomorrow from OFM.
The furloughs are expected to save about $73 million from all state funds over the full year. Gregoire has negotiated an additional "prepaid" or "modified" furlough plan with most employee unions for the next two years. It takes effect July 1 and requires 3 percent reductions in pay and hours worked for most workers.
Gregoire and labor unions are balking at a new proposal in the Senate’s budget plan that imposes even more furloughs on 53,000 of the highest paid state and university employees, as we discussed in this story today.
That proposal has not been endorsed yet by the House.