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Brown to introduce plan to repay furloughed employees

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown will introduce a proposal on Tuesday that would compensate city workers for four furlough days it took in 2011, only to see the District gain a windfall of revenue by the end of the year.

Mr. Brown, at-large independent, said his plan would pay the workers for all four days upfront and dedicate roughly $5 million to affordable housing programs.

The plan would put to rest the long and tortured negotiations to make city workers whole, a key priority for unions who lobbied lawmakers to go forward with the payments.

Yet some council members said the money — tied to Mayor Vincent C. Gray's fiscal 2012 supplemental budget plan — could be better spent. City residents in the private sector, they argued, will not receive similar relief.

The council could not agree during its last legislation meeting on a plan to either pay city workers either for four days upfront or for two days now and two days later.

"We need to put the supplemental (budget) behind us," Mr. Brown said.

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown said he supports the new plan, which will be introduced and debated at the council's legislative session.

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