Below is the script that Public Employee Federation leaders are giving to their rank-and-file as part of an effort to pressure lawmakers against approving any budget extender that would include furloughs. As we’ve noted, Gov. Paterson has lawmakers in a tough spot on this one: if they vote against an extender, legislators could conceivably be accused of causing a government shut-down. But if they vote it, they could feel the wrath of PEF as well as CSEA come election time.
In addition to the 20 percent pay cut that a one-day-a-week furlough would create, the script also predicts a multiplier effect in which state employees, lacking the extra money, would hurt the large economy and create an estimated 14,000 job losses.
This whole affair poses a particular dilemma for Capital Region lawmakers who have a lot of state employees in their districts. Regardless of the choices lawmakers make next week, the outcome will be interesting, if the governor in fact puts a furlough plan in his budget extender, assuming of course, that the full 2010-11 budget remains uncompleted.