Md. Employees on Furlough Wonder What’s Next?

Thousands of employees stayed home Friday

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John Hancock

ANNAPOLIS, Md.  -- Maryland state employees who are on furlough because of the state's budget crisis are worried about what will happen next.

Thousands of employees stayed home Friday in the first of as many as five spread-out furlough days to save up about $34 million.

Mildred Womble, an AFSCME union representative for employees of the state's Motor Vehicle Administration, says many workers are worried because they fear tougher times are coming.

The furloughs were needed because of shortfalls in the current fiscal year, but the state is facing a nearly $2 billion budget hole for the next fiscal year.

Andre Powell, a union steward at the Department of Social Services in Baltimore, says many employees are thankful to have avoided layoffs, but there's a lot of nervousness about the coming year.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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