By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
A provision has been added to the next fiscal year’s Department of Defense appropriations bill that would exempt all Blue Grass Army Depot civilian employees from sequester furloughs.
The bill was passed Wednesday by the House and is now headed to the Senate for approval. The deadline for passing the appropriations bill is Sept. 30 with the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1.
If it is not passed, which has happened in years’ past, a continuing resolution may be approved to keep all DoD operations funded.
The provision for the furlough exceptions would apply specifically to installations where DoD employees are paid from the Working Capital Fund Account, according to a news release from U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District.
The Working Capital Fund Account are revolving funds that require a one-time congressional appropriation to establish the fund, and then operates on a break-even, self-supporting basis from revenues on the sale of goods and services to customers, according to the release.
BGAD is only Army installation in Kentucky that has “indirectly funded government employees” through this fund, according to Barr’s office.
About 172 security and emergency response employees at BGAD have received an exception from taking the sequester furloughs. However, another 588 BGAD workers have been required since July 8 to reduce their work week by eight hours each week.
However, the provision will apply to all DoD civilian employees in the nation whose salaries are funded through the Working Capital Fund Account.
“I support this legislation because it is the best chance to stop the furloughs at the Blue Grass Army Depot that are compromising national security and hurting Kentucky families,” Barr said in the release.
“The bill, which includes a bipartisan amendment to prevent the ongoing civilian furloughs at BGAD and other installations, will help ensure we can maintain the highly skilled, operational security force necessary to protect both the local communities and the weaponized chemical weapons at the Blue Grass Army Depot.”
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.