Civilians working for the military in San Diego have been bracing themselves for a major hit to their pocketbook in the form of furloughs due to sequestration cuts.
Now there's a little bit of good news for them: the number of days has been reduced.
The reduction in furlough days is one of the immediate positive outcomes of a Defense Budget Bill for this year finally getting signed in Washington this week.
Now civilian employees of the Defense Department can expect to be furloughed 14 days this fiscal year, down from the originally anticipated 22.
Of the approximately 800,000 Defense Department civilians nationwide, more than 22,000 are here in San Diego.
“These furlough days are reducing their income, for which they have not planned for, so now they're all - everybody’s sort of scrambling, trying to figure out how they’re going to cover costs," said Marney Cox, Chief Economist for San Diego Association of Governments.
When the Pentagon announced civilian furloughs because of sequestration cuts, DoD civilian, Michael Boone says he was frustrated but relieved.
"I was really scared that they might lay off so when they said furloughs instead of laying off to me that was a much better scenario," said Boone.
The decision to decrease the number of furlough days was made possible by a defense appropriations bill being signed this week, reducing a shortfall in the military's operations budget.
Cox says DoD civilians will now keep around $1,800 that they would have lost, but they'll still take a big hit.
“There's still furlough days that they will be hit by so close to $3600 or so is what they will lose", said Cox.
Boone says because he's single, the furloughs won't impact him as much as those with families, but he is adjusting his lifestyle.
“I wanted to go to Europe. I still want to go, now I may have to delay that a little bit," said Boone.
The Pentagon says the furloughs will also be delayed until mid-to- late June, and people will start receiving notices in early May.