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State lawmakers receive pay for snow days

1:30 PM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- For two days last week, much of Atlanta was shut down - including the State Capitol. But 11Alive has confirmed, state lawmakers will still receive pay for those two days, though many did not come to work.

Both house and senate were called to order at 10am Wednesday and Thursday, then immediately adjourned for lack of quorum.

"I don't think that's necessarily unfair," said Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) when asked about pay. "I was at home, in communication with staff."

But not everyone was getting paid. 11Alive obtained a memo from Senate intern coordinator addressed to senate aides and interns:

"I wanted to let you guys know that Senator Shafer pushed for you guys to get paid for the snow days," the memo read. "But the legislative council (sic) said it was illegal to pay you for days that you were not here. Sorry."

In a statement, Senator David Shafer said in part: "I would have liked for us to treat the interns the same way that full time employees were treated. Unfortunately, we were advised by the Legislative Counsel that we could not legally do so because interns are paid by the number of hours worked."

Senator Shafer added that he paid his own interns himself. Both Senator Fort and Senator Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) told 11Alive they would make sure their interns received pay for last week's snow days, adding that their interns were available and in some cases working from home during those days.

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