Wyoming on Monday furloughed 233 employees due to a lack of available federal funds, Gov. Matt Mead announced.
All of the furloughed employees have part or all of their salary paid with federal money that is no longer available. Mead said more furloughs could come if the federal government does not resume operations before the end of the month.
Mead wrote the furloughed employees a letter letting them know of the cuts.
“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, 1,600 positions are funded in whole or in part by federal funds.
The departments of Environmental Quality, Family Services, the Military, and Parks and Cultural Resources employ the 233 furloughed workers. The furlough impact on each employee will vary depending on the salary percentage of federal funds to other funds, including state general funds.
Mead said 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,” Mead wrote.
The governor has authorized employees to use accrued annual leave, if they choose to do so. They are eligible for unemployment insurance.
The state has established a website to provide information for affected employees, as well as others who may have questions related to the furloughs required by the federal budget situation.