The fakest D.C. political issue of 2012 — fake, as in its outcome was never in doubt but was nonetheless subject to weeks of political wrangling over ancillary issues — has now been resolved: City employees will be repaid for the four furlough days they were forced to take in 2011.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) on Tuesday signed a supplemental budget bill passed by the D.C. Council this month approving the paybacks.
The news was communicated to employees in a memo today from Gray: Pending congressional review and barring “unforeseen circumstances,” workers can expect checks by Aug. 31.
The paybacks went on the political agenda late in January, when finance officials announced that the city finished fiscal 2011 with a $240 million surplus — this, after lawmakers faced with a budget shortfall ordered the furlough days to save the city $19 million.
And if you’re lacking sympathy for city workers who will now be paid for work not done, that’s not quite the situation: The Gray administration scheduled the furlough days for four days that would otherwise have been paid holidays.