Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden, deciding not to wait for General Assembly action on proposed new county budget cuts, has ordered a five-day furlough for county employees to save about $6 million.
He asked the school board to save another $7 million.
One option, according to School Superintendent Robert Y. Dubel, is to not pay teachers for five days of spring vacation in April. Dubel would need the school board's approval for any savings plan.
For many county workers, the unpaid work days would came on either state or county holidays, starting in February. County administrative officer Merreen E. Kelly was meeting today with various county labor groups to inform them of Hayden's action.
County government workers will not be paid for Presidents Day, Feb. 17, or for Memorial Day in May, both already county holidays. In addition, they will not be paid for three state holidays -- Lincoln's birthday on Feb. 12, Maryland Day on March 25 and Good Friday on April 17.
Police and fire departments will work out their own schedules, since those employees work seven days a week.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer has proposed a $23.5 million budget cut for Baltimore County. That would come on top of $18 million that the state has already cut. The county
also faces a $15 million reduction in revenues this fiscal year because of the recession.
If the legislature enacts new taxes, however, or decides to trim elsewhere, Baltimore County might not suffer the $23.5 million cut.
Hayden, however, decided he couldn't wait to see what the General Assembly would do. The county's ability to cut its budget without major public disruptions is lessened with each ,, day that passes, since the fiscal year that began July 1 is half over now.
The furloughs will save only about half the amount the governor has proposed to cut, meaning other severe service reductions are likely, depending on the legislature's decisions. The General Assembly convenes Wednesday.