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More Council Members Volunteer for Week-Long Furlough

More members of the Louisville Metro Council are answering a call to participate in Mayor Greg Fischer’s week-long furlough program to help fill the city's budget shortfall.Last week, Council President Jim King, D-10, asked fellow members and their staffs to join the voluntary program for all Metro employees making less than $70,000 annually. The cost-saving measure is mandatory for non-union employees above that threshold.Councilman David James, D-6, was the first to step forward publicly, saying the city’s deficit is a chance for elected officials to make sacrifices in order to avoid layoffs and cuts to city services. Since then council members Barbara Shanklin, D-2, Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, Vicki Aubrey Welch, D-13, Rick Blackwell, D-12, and David Yates, D-25, have said they will participate as well.However, those council members differ on whether their legislative aides will also take part in the week-long furlough.The program would save the city $816 per council member if they reimburse Metro Government for the unpaid days.Thus far, no council Republicans have publicly said they will volunteer for the mayor’s furlough program, but their caucus spokesman has said GOP members support the plan.