Federal Shutdown Forces Additional Layoffs at Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management

October 3, 2013

For Immediate Release: Thursday, Oct. 3
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531 Peter Rogers, DVEM Communications Director 207-620-4957

AUGUSTA – As part of the ongoing federal government shutdown, the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management (DVEM) has been required to deliver 44 state employees with temporary lay-off notices. Affected employees received the notices Thursday afternoon, which are effective Friday, Oct. 4.

The temporary layoffs were required in accordance with the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits federal employees from making or authorizing a federal expenditure unless authorized by law. Funding for affected state employees at DVEM is obtained through a master cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Defense (DOD). This unique agreement funds state positions, entirely or in part, as the costs are incurred by the State of Maine.

“To date, the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management has been the hardest hit of all state agencies,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Unless there is a resolution to the shutdown by Monday, the State of Maine will have no choice but to address how to proceed with other state employees or programs that are partially or fully funded by the federal government.”

The Department identified a total of 73 state employees as personnel who are paid under the master agreement with the federal government. Twenty-nine of these employees were “excepted” under guidance provided by the DOD. As a result, 44 DVEM state employees have been temporarily laid off.

The Department of Administrative and Financial Services sent a letter to the Maine State Employees Association Thursday advising them of the situation. “It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action, but the loss of federal spending authority made taking action essential,” wrote Joyce Oreskovich, Director of Human Resources of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.