One of the benefits of working for the Hawaii State Government is Furlough Fridays. Now, I say this is a "pro" because two Fridays a month, I have the day off. It's nice in the sense that I can run errands or do things that normally can't be done on weekends because places are closed (i.e. go to the bank, post office, etc.). It's also nice because I can go to the beach or just hang out and relax. On the negative side, of course, is the fact that I don't get paid. The State reduces our salary by 7%/year. Essentially, the Governor imposed budgetary restrictions on all state departments on June 1, 2009 to close the state's budget deficit.
The craziest thing is that furlough days started with the schools. This means that Hawaii was giving kids 2 days off a month. The department of education is facing restrictions of $127.7 million for school year 2009-10 and $142.6 million for 2010-11 for non-charter schools. Hawaii has 170,000 public school children. The money-saving effort gives Hawaii schools the shortest school year in the nation.
For now, though, I am happy to have the 3-day weekends, especially because I don't think the furlough days will last the entire time I'm here.