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Mass. House Orders Staff, Not Member, Furloughs

House leaders are ordering their staff members to take five furlough days, although lawmakers won't have to take them themselves.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Minority Leader Bradley Jones of North Reading said in a statement Friday furloughs for the 540 staffers will save the state $620,000.

They also highlighted other recent cuts, including discontinuing reimbursement of Massachusetts Bar fees and staff business cards, capping franking privileges and reducing cleaning costs.

But this week lawmakers rejected Gov. Deval Patrick's request for authority so he could cut both legislative and judicial budgets himself.

The furloughs don't apply to the 160 House members because their salaries are set by constitutional amendment. They can only be reduced voluntarily.

This program aired on November 20, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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