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National Guard Announces 82 More Furloughs

Furloughs come from state employees.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Arkansas National Guard has announced 82 additional furloughs for its state employees.

In a news release issued early Friday afternoon, the National Guard says the employees perform functions that include fire rescue, public safety, security facility maintenance, administrative, water treatment and sanitation.

State employees at the 188th Fighter Wing provide rescue support for the Fort Smith Regional Airport, but officials say a temporary plan has been implemented to continue this rescue support.

"I want the public to understand that the Guard is not back to business as usual," Maj. Gen. William D. Wofford, Adjutant General for Arkansas, said in a news release. "As each day passes our readiness levels degrade and our furloughed employees continue to suffer."

National Guard officials say they are primarily funded by the federal government, but many of the federal obligations are paid by the state, who is then reimbursed based on federal cooperative agreements.

"The state cannot continue to bankroll federal obligations," said Wofford, "If the lapse in federal appropriation continues we may have to begin cutting utilities at most of our facilities across the state."

According to the news release, employees were directed earlier this week to begin taking steps to conserve electricity.

You can read the entire news release here.
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