Furloughs for Lingle and executive staff - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Furloughs for Lingle and executive staff

Governor Linda Lingle Governor Linda Lingle
Lillian Koller Lillian Koller

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - In an effort to save the state money, the governor and her staff are taking a pay cut.

And beginning August first, they'll also be furloughed two days each month.

In this fight over the state's financial crisis, the governor has asked unions to sacrifice a big part of their pay.

Now, the governor is asking the same from her staff.

Starting next month, department heads and deputies will be furloughed twice a month, on top of their 5 percent pay cut.

"There is a strong sense among these leaders. This is a time of shared sacrifice and we can't put it off any longer," said Governor Linda Lingle.

Those leaders, will be out $12,000 - $16,000 each, as an initial pay cut and the two additional furlough days off each month add up to a 13 percent reduction.

But many of these state leaders say even though they will be furloughed, they'll keep on working.

"It doesn't impact the hours I work or my job. I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I love every minute of it," said Lillian Koller, the director of the Department of Human Services.

This cut for the governor's staff also sends out a message out to the unions, which recently said their members would take a 5 percent pay cut - along with everyone else.

Now that the governor has stepped up her staff reductions, she needs the unions to take a similar cut.

"We proposed three furlough days - that is what we need that amount of equivalent - that comes out to about 14%," Lingle said.

There was also concern the recent round of overrides of the governor's vetoes would add to the budget.

But Lingle says that won't be the case, as she won't release funding for bills passed over her veto.

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