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Officials Announce State Furlough Exemptions

The Kentucky Personnel Cabinet has annunced some limited exemptions to a furlough plan for state employees announced recently by Governor Steve Beshear.The exemptions apply to employees who serve in certain public safety or mental health care positions.The governor, with legislative approval, ordered state workers to take six furlough days this fiscal year, in order to trim $24 million from the state budget.On Thursday, the Personnel Cabinet, citing safety considerations, announced limited exemptions for some workers, including those who provide direct patient care at state run mental health facilities, corrections officers and medical personnel at prisons and Kentucky State Police officers and communications personnel.Cabinet Secretary Nikki Jackson says more exemptions could be granted as furlough plans are reviewed.Earlier this month, six state workers, concerned about safety, went to court to challenge the furloughs. That suit is pending in Franklin Circuit Court.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.