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Ehrlich speaks out against state furloughs

John Wagner

Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) is seeking to parlay a mandatory furlough day for Maryland state employees into support for his comeback campaign.

In a Facebook posting and a new video shot by his campaign, Ehrlich calls furlough days demoralizing and says they are not worth the savings.

"It's simply not worth it," Ehrlich says in the video. "We appreciate state employees. Furloughs are not the right way to go."

Rick Abbruzzese, a campaign spokesman for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), declined to comment.

While governor, Ehrlich had a strained relationship with state employee unions, in part because of efforts to curb the cost of health benefits.

Under O'Malley's furlough plan, most state employees were given unpaid leave on five days close to holidays, including Friday, heading into Memorial Day weekend. Based on their salary level, some employees were given up to an additional five furlough days.

A similar plan is in place for the coming fiscal year, which starts in July, as part of the state's effort to cope with budget shortfalls. The plan for the coming year is expected to save the state about $58 million, according to legislative analysts.

In his video, Ehrlich says he was given the option of implementing furloughs while governor in 2003 but decided against that.

By John Wagner  |  May 28, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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Invest in a tripod and a shotgun mic. The Blair Witch look isn't going to fly.

Posted by: member8 | May 28, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"It's simply not worth it," Ehrlich says in the video. "We appreciate state employees. Furloughs are not the right way to go."

Right. Bob Ehrlich has already shown Maryland what he believes is "the right way to go" when it comes to State employees...don't furlough them, fire them.

Posted by: hamsandwich | May 28, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

The only state employees who should be furloughed or fired, are the governor and the legislature. They have failed miserably to deal with the states structural deficit and don't have enough political courage to admit that they are the cause of the budget crisis, not state employees.

Posted by: VikingRider | May 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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