An executive order signed Monday by Gov. Donald Carcieri mandating the furlough days is in line with legislative action in other states trying desperately to shore up their budgets, CNN reported.
CNN said the Rhode Island furlough order excludes law enforcement, hospitals, corrections, the state's public transportation system and some child-care services. Amy Kempe, press secretary for Carcieri, said the Department of Motor Vehicles, tax offices and other services not usually provided on Sunday or federal holidays will be closed for 12 days, saving the state $68 million.
The National Conference of State Legislatures said 19 states have proposed or enacted budgets for fiscal 2010 that include pay cuts for state employees and less access to services for residents on furlough days, CNN reported.
Carcieri has said the move is legal under state employee union collective-bargaining agreements.