Prince George's Furloughs On Hold
By Jonathan Mummolo
Employees of Prince George's County facing the specter of a second straight year of furloughs got a stay today, when the county council voted to delay approval of the furloughs until later this month.
The two-week furloughs were passed as part of the county budget earlier this year, but the county council must approve a specific plan for how to implement them before they can take effect.
The furloughs were part of an effort to close a $113 million budget gap.
After hearing several concerns about the accuracy of the accounting that justified the furloughs from Fraternal Order of Police president Vince Canales
today, the council voted to table the furlough vote until July 21, their final session before the August recess.
The council delayed addressing the measure last week as well after the police union filed an unfair labor practices complaint. Canales said he hopes the extra time will cause the panel to reconsider.
Public safety union leaders have been vocal opponents of the furloughs, arguing they will endanger citizens in need of emergency responders. Today, County Executive Jack B. Johnson said public safety would not be hurt, pointing to a sizeable drop in crime in most major categories in the first half of the year despite last year's furloughs.
The police union still has a pending law suit against the county over last year's furloughs.
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