Technicians in Pa. National Guard facing furloughs

    State lawmakers are prodding members of Congress to keep the Pennsylvania National Guard from having to furlough its technicians.

    The chair of Pennsykvania’s Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness is on a letter-writing campaign to fix what she sees as an oversight in the design of automatic federal spending cuts.

    Republican Lisa Baker says while the sequester won’t hit military personnel, it will mean once-a-week furloughs for military technicians.

    “They’re individuals who fix aircraft, Humvees, various vehicles,” she said. “These are federal, civilian employees but they’re also full-time employees of the National Guard who wear the uniform and have, actually, many been deployed at home or overseas.”

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    Baker has written to U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey as well as two congressman seeking their support for legislation to protect technicians from furloughs.

    Up to 1,800 National Guard military technicians in the commonwealth could see weekly forced holidays.

    The head of the Pennsylvania Guard has said a hiring freeze could avoid furloughs for most employees, but not those stationed at an air wing in Dauphin County.

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