To help address state budget shortfall, Commissioner Franz Announces Pay Freeze, Furloughs at DNR
News Date: 
June 26, 2020
   

Hilary Franz will also donate her 2020 salary increase to local food banks

 
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz today announced agency furloughs and a suspension of planned 3% salary increases for agency leaders and managers as part of cost-saving measures within the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
 
Due to the economic impacts caused by COVID-19, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council last week estimated a drop of roughly $9 billion in the state general fund budget through 2023.
 
“We’re all in this together. Whether you work in the public or private sector, we are all feeling the financial blow of COVID-19. Friends and neighbors are out of work. Small businesses are closing, many to never re-open,” said Commissioner Franz. “At the Department of Natural Resources, we are committed to doing our part to weather the economic storm caused by this pandemic. The actions we are taking today will have immediate impacts on the fiscal year that starts next week.
 
“Our state family is rising to meet this challenge. We are at our best when we step up to lead, and when we are part of the solution – even when it’s hard, and even when it impacts us directly.”
 
Specifically, DNR is:
  1. Implementing furloughs: Effective June 28, 2020, many DNR employees will be required to take one day (8 hours) of furlough per week for the next four weeks. Employees will also be required to take four additional furlough days August 2020 through November 2020.
    • Employees who perform work critical to the health and safety of Washingtonians, such as wildland firefighters, are exempt from furloughs.
  2. Suspending the 3% general wage increase scheduled for July 1 for all Washington Management Service and Exempt Management Service employees, with the exception of employees who make $53,000 or less per year.
Commissioner Franz, a statewide official, is also due to receive a pay increase as dictated by the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials, a body that determines salaries for all elected officials in Washington state.
 
Franz will donate her scheduled wage increase -- $7,140 -- to Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest, both of which are nonprofits that ensure Washingtonians have access to healthy foods throughout the year.
 
“In this moment, when so many families are financially struggling due to COVID-19 shutdowns, access to basics like food are needed now more than ever,” said Franz. “I am honored to be able to contribute to organizations that are feeding so many in need.”
 
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