Virginia Leaders Want Flexibility on Furloughs

April 18, 2013

The Virginia congressional delegation wants the Pentagon to change the rules on civilian furloughs, hoping to lessen the impact in a state where 88,000 people are facing a significant pay cut.

The state's two senators and 10 representatives sent a letter Thursday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, urging him to grant flexibility to individual services in implementing furloughs, because some branches of the military might avoid them entirely.

Spending reductions under sequestration have prompted the furloughs. At first, the Defense Department said it would furlough all of its civilian workforce for 22 days – one day a week starting in late April and continuing through September.

Then it reconsidered, and now the furloughs reportedly will be 14 days, to be applied uniformly across all departments. Still, that's an effective 20 percent cut in gross pay. Giving service secretaries and individual agencies leeway might give thousands of employees a reprieve.

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