The following is a letter that I e-mailed via the Governor’s feedback form, as well as sent to my state senator George Della, and state representatives Peter Hammen, Carolyn Krysiak, and Brian McHale. So far, I have only heard back from Della and McHale. I tried to customize it for each delegate as I hate form letters.
My name is Greg Walsh and I am a resident of Patterson Park in Baltimore City. After ten years of working in the e-learning industry in Maryland, I am now a graduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park and my wife is an employee at the State Health Department.
I read the Baltimore Sun’s article on the proposed furlough plan and had a suggestion. I understand that furloughs are an excellent alternative to layoffs but I think that the reported plan is not fair to those in the middle pay brackets. The proposed scale shows employees making less than $40k would take three days and those making $40-50k would take eight and $50-100k would take 9 with 100k+ at 10. According to this schedule, someone who makes $37k would take five less days of pay cuts than someone making $43k yet their income is relatively close after taxes, health care contributions, retirement plans, etc. Similarly, someone making $86k would take only one extra furlough day although they make two times the salary of the $43k employee.
I propose that the schedule be the salary divided by 10,000 equals the amount of furlough days you need to take. You could round down to be fair. Under that proposal, the $37k employee would take three days, the $43k employee would take four days, and the $86k employee would take eight. An employee making $100k would still take 10 days.
Governor O’Malley, I ask that you consider this proposed plan and offer it as an alternative to the current proposed plan.