ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Parris N. Glendening on Friday extended until Nov. 27 his guarantee to pay state employees whose wages are usually paid by the federal government.
Because of the partial federal government shutdown, the workers could have been laid off, but Glendening decided to keep them on at the state expense of $1.4 million a day.
Maryland’s government has about 9,680 workers whose salaries are paid by the federal budget. They are concentrated in the Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in unemployment offices, and in higher education where research is federally funded.
Glendening made his announcement at a taping of a Baltimore public affairs television show.
“The governor didn’t want the workers to have a cloud hanging over their heads during Thanksgiving,” said Marilyn Corbett, his spokeswoman. “He hopes the shutdown will be over by then and that it will be a moot point.”
On Nov. 27, if the shutdown is still in effect, Glendening will reevaluate his position, Corbett said.
“Glendening fully expects the state to be reimbursed,” Corbett said. “This is expensive. But the governor feels the workers are innocent victims in all of this.”
Terry Mileski, a supervisor at the Annapolis’ unemployment insurance office, said she and her co-workers were happy to hear of the extension.
“We learned today that we are taken care of. It’s a good thing because we need to be here for the furloughed workers,” she said. -30-