Gas Prices Driving State Employees To Stay Home

    9:41 PM, May 12, 2008   |    comments
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    With soaring gas prices many people are left looking for a break. State employees may get one. Instead of working five days a week, some state employees like Marnie Davison who works for Finance and Administration, may scale back to four. "I loved that shift because you have one day during the week where you have a day off," says Davison. State Senate Majority Leader Tracy Steele says he's proposing a shift adjustment to answer complaints about commuting. "There's a lot of people hurting in the state because gas prices are so high," says Steele. Senator Steele's plan is targeted toward state employees who travel 20 to 30 miles-plus to work everyday. He says he's hoping to cut these people's commute by one fifth. "Those individuals who are driving a significant distance into town are really hurting the most," explains Steele. To make up the 40 hours, staffers who pick the shorter work week would adopt a ten-hour day. "It would probably make it tough for the people who work five days a week because they would have a harder work load," says Davison. Current state law gives the Governor the option to allow some agencies to switch to this modified schedule, but the policy covers all 50,000 plus state employees. Senator Steele's proposal is to limit the offer to those with special travel concerns. "We don't want people who drive five miles to work every day to take advantage when those who have to drive 50 to 60 miles to work really need some relief," says Steele. For those who qualify, they may soon clock out a few hours later. Senator Steele says he plans to present the proposal to the senate this Friday. The legislature is not in session right now, but Senator Steele will be able to present his proposal to the legislative council which monitors state government between sessions.

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