BOISE --Hundreds of Idaho's National guardsmen and women will start their ordered furloughs this week.
Idaho National Guard spokesperson, Colonel Tim Marsano explains what this means.
“For about half of us full time employees in the National Guard both nationally and here in Idaho, its one day a week unpaid between now and September 30,” Marsano said.
Marsano said 860 military technicians, or civilian workers across Idaho will be taking the unpaid days off. This is part of an order passed down from Washington D.C. in the 2013 sequester budget deal.
Military families will now have to live with a 20 percent reduction in income.
“It’s going to have a significant impact on their pay their personal pay their family's pay,” Marsano said. “But it could also have implications for our military readiness. We just aren’t sure what those are at this point.”
Marsano tells KTVB that it’s still too early to know for sure just how the furloughs will impact the Idaho National Guard when it comes to their response to disasters.
“We can’t say exactly what it means for our military readiness. Certainly the goal is to try to reduce the effects on military readiness as much as possible,” said Marsano.
The National Guard often responds to assist in the wildfire season and many other disasters. Idaho’s wildfire season is already looking grim according to fire experts.
Marsano goes on to say that he didn’t see the furloughs impacting the fire season at all. “We should be okay for firefighting season should it happen."
Still, the impact is not good for personnel. Marsano say any time there is a reduction in pay it affects families and the Idaho economy.
“It have a ripple effect on local businesses, fewer meals eaten out, fewer cars getting bought, fewer laundry machines being replaced, that sort of thing,” said Marsano.
All across the country the furloughs will leave impacts, but they are expected to save $1.8 billion dollars in defense spending.