Today, Governor Matt Mead wrote state employees whose positions are funded in whole or in part by the federal government. These employees are affected in some way by the federal shutdown which began Tuesday, October 1st.
The federal shutdown has required the State of Wyoming to place 233 federally funded employees on furlough, effective Monday, October 7. The furloughs affect employees with positions that are funded in whole or in part with federal funds that ceased to be available.
"It is not easy for me to write today," Mead wrote. "I know there has been great uncertainty for you since the federal shutdown began on Tuesday. It is a troubling time, and while I cannot change the situation -- only Congress and the President can do that -- I do hope the situation is resolved soon."
Wyoming employs 9,867 individuals and of those, 1600 positions are funded in whole or in part by federal funds. The 233 employees immediately impacted are paid with funds not available without a federal budget on October 1. The number of employees subject to furlough may grow if the federal shutdown continues past October 30.
The 233 individuals are employed by the Departments of Environmental Quality, Family Services, the Military, and Parks and Cultural Resources. The furlough impact on each employee will vary depending on the salary percentage of federal funds to other funds, including state general funds.
In a letter to the affected employees, Governor Mead noted that it is a difficult time, and the action was difficult to take. He and his staff explored all options, but found that state and federal law required the furloughs of employees. "The state cannot pay for all federally funded positions; however, the state is trying to take the best path forward," Governor Mead wrote.
The Governor has authorized employees to use accrued annual leave, if they choose to do so. They are eligible for unemployment insurance.