Gov Mead will furlough 233 state employees who rely on federal funds

— October 4, 2013

(Press release) Today, Governor Matt Mead wrote state employees whose positions are funded in whole or in part by the federal government.  These employees are affected in some way by the federal shutdown which began Tuesday, October 1st.

The federal shutdown has required the State of Wyoming to place 233 federally funded employees on furlough, effectiveMonday, October 7.  The furloughs affect employees with positions that are funded in whole or in part with federal funds that ceased to be available.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead.

“It is not easy for me to write today,” Mead wrote.  “I know there has been great uncertainty for you since the federal shutdown began on Tuesday.  It is a troubling time, and while I cannot change the situation – only Congress and the President can do that – I do hope the situation is resolved soon.”

Wyoming employs 9,867 individuals and of those, 1600 positions are funded in whole or in part  by federal funds.  The 233 employees immediately impacted are paid with funds not available without a federal budget on October 1.  The number of employees subject to furlough may grow if the federal shutdown continues past October 30.

The 233 individuals are employed by the Departments of Environmental Quality, Family Services, the Military, and Parks and Cultural Resources.  The furlough impact on each employee will vary depending on the salary percentage of federal funds to other funds, including state general funds.

In a letter to the affected employees, Governor Mead noted that it is a difficult time, and the action was difficult to take.  He and his staff explored all options, but found that state and federal law required the furloughs of employees.  “The state cannot pay for all federally funded positions; however, the state is trying to take the best path forward,” Governor Mead wrote.

The Governor has authorized employees to use accrued annual leave, if they choose to do so.   They are eligible for unemployment insurance.

A website has been established to provide information for affected employees, as well as others who may have questions related to the furloughs required by the federal budget situation.  The website is https://sites.google.com/a/wyo.gov/state-of-wyoming-furlough-information/home  (Please note:  the web address must be copied as written, it is not available through a search.)

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  1. It’s a shame, isn’t it, that Wyoming is in such horrible financial shape that the governor is not able to take care of his own employees. So far, not one other state is furloughing any of their state employees, even though none of them are even close to being as financially stable as Wyoming. An article from 8KPAX.com in Montana stated that “the partial government shutdown hit hard in Wyoming….” but that “Montana is in a strong fiscal and budgetary position.” “This means state employees whose positions are fully or partially funded by the government in Montana, won’t find themselves in the same situation as Wyoming any time soon.” Montana has a $400 million surplus. Wyoming has 1.6 BILLION dollars in the rainy day fund, yet the governor is not willing to take out a small, temporary loan from the rainy day fund (that will eventually be repaid by the feds) in order to get through this manufactured crisis. He says he is “required” by law to do this. So, the other states are NOT required by law to do this? Just Wyoming? Heed the warning, all you Wyoming state employees. You are of no value to the governor, and none of your jobs are “secure.” By the way, state employees will not be paid or reimbursed in any way. Some are also in jeopardy of their health care and retirement benefits being affected. Thanks, gov.