Furloughs may figure in state plan Schaefer nears end of budget cut options

December 10, 1991|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- Unpaid furloughs of state employees, an option Gov. William Donald Schaefer has avoided in the past, apparently will be a small part of a new round of budget cuts he will recommend today, according to State House sources.

Until now, the Schaefer administration has resisted proposals to furlough employees as a cost-saving measure, saying such moves provide only short-term relief to a basic budgetary problem that demands long-term solutions.

But with five rounds of budget cuts behind him and a deficit estimated at $220 million that must be eliminated over the remaining six months of the current fiscal year, Mr. Schaefer has few options left.

The governor is scheduled to meet with General Assembly leaders this morning to unveil his plan and seek their suggestions. That meeting is to be followed by a 10:30 a.m. news conference at which the governor is expected to make his plan public.

Paul E. Schurick, Mr. Schaefer's staff chief, would only say the cuts, brought on by a sharp drop in revenues and rise in the cost of social programs expanded by the recession, are "onerous."

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