With a tropical system potentially reaching South Florida by the weekend, Gov. Rick Scott continues to question the federal furloughs being imposed on personnel of the Florida National Guard, reports the News Service of Florida.
“The problem is you’re losing training time, you’re losing preparation time,” Scott said while appearing Monday on WOKV radio in Jacksonville. “When will the National Guard make the decision that we stop the furloughs? Right after the hurricane hits?”
Tropical Storm Chantal was moving quickly toward the Lesser Antilles on Monday morning, about 630 miles east-southeast of Barbados, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The system was moving west at 26 mph. The hurricane center has most of South Florida within the five-day forecast cone starting Saturday.
A spokesman for the National Guard was not immediately available for comment Monday morning. The once-a-week furloughs of nearly 1,000 Guard employees is part of the federal government’s budget sequestration that was approved by Congress after negotiations between President Obama and Republican leaders about deficit reduction broke down. The furloughs are expected to continue through September.