Problems Developing With Proposed Furloughs

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada lawmakers instituted a
one-day-a-month furlough for state workers as a moneysaving
alternative to straight salary cuts proposed by Gov. Jim Gibbons.
But several drawbacks to the furloughs are developing.

As the state Personnel Department develops emergency regulations
to start the furloughs by July 1, it's clear that some departments
will have a harder time than others doing without employees.

For example, prisons must have a certain number of guards at all
times. And mental hospitals need to maintain staffing ratios to
remain accredited.

Even in departments where employees can more easily be
furloughed, such as Department of Motor Vehicles offices, the
result will be longer lines and reduced services.

State budget chief Andrew Clinger says a projected savings of
$333 million from the furloughs over the next two fiscal years may
not occur.

He says some departments might not be able to spare the workers,
and the furloughs could lead to higher overtime costs in areas such
as corrections and public safety.

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