KET programs could suffer under furlough plan, station spokesman says

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Proposed furloughs of state employees could adversely affect Kentucky Educational Television programming, station spokesman Tim Bischoff said Monday (Aug. 16). According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, KET is requesting “flexibility” from the state Personnel Cabinet in the implementation of the furloughs, scheduled as a cost-saving measure for three days adjacent to holiday weekends in the upcoming year: Friday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day weekend); Friday, Nov. 12 (Veterans Day weekend); and Friday, May 27 (Memorial Day weekend). Six state workers from various departments testified at a circuit court hearing about how the public would suffer under the furlough plan. The judge delayed ruling on a motion to block the unpaid leave while he gathers more information.

UPDATE: Bischoff contacted Current to clarify that his statements were not presented at the hearing but rather in an email in response to a reporter’s questions. Here is what he said in that message: “In order to ensure KET’s services – including Comment on Kentucky – continue uninterrupted, we’re seeking permission to treat the three designated furlough days as we typically do with state holidays that fall on a Friday. Sometimes in those cases, we will pre-tape Comment, rather than producing it live. In this case, we’ve not yet made the decision on when Comment will be produced.”