Kellie Lunney

Senior Correspondent Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.
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It’s Official: Family and Medical Leave Act Now Includes Spouses of Gay Feds

April 8, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management on Friday published the final rule changing the statutory language allowing federal employees in same-sex marriages to take time off to care for ill spouses. The definition of “spouse” will be changed officially as of May 9 in OPM’s Family and Medical Leave Act regulations...

Defense Has Wrongly Taxed Disabled Combat Vets For Years

April 7, 2016 Veterans who had to medically retire from the military because of combat-related injuries during the last two decades have lost out on thousands of dollars in severance pay because the Defense Department improperly taxed those payments. It’s unclear how many veterans have been affected, but the nonprofit National Veterans Legal...

Retirement Backlog Still High Despite Slight Progress

April 5, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management made some headway on retirement claims in March, processing 9,222 applications – the most claims it has managed to complete in one month since October, according to the latest data. The March backlog of 19,211 claims still presents a major challenge for the agency, but...

Senior VA Health Executives Could Earn More Money Under Department Proposal

April 4, 2016 Senior health care executives at the Veterans Affairs Department could earn more money, but also could be fired more easily under draft legislation that Secretary Bob McDonald has sent to Capitol Hill. The proposal would create a new personnel system under Title 38 for senior executives in health care leadership...

Former GOP Presidential Candidate Pushes to Make It Easier to Fire All VA Employees

April 1, 2016 Republican sponsors of legislation that would make it easier to fire all employees at the Veterans Affairs Department are worried the final bill will lack strong accountability provisions. “We hope you realize that any piece of comprehensive veterans’ legislation that doesn’t provide the VA secretary swift and comprehensive disciplinary authority...

Mandatory Coverage of Autism Treatment Could Affect FEHBP Premiums

March 31, 2016 It’s not yet clear how new mandatory coverage of a popular therapy for autistic kids will affect premiums next year in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, according to the Office of Personnel Management. “Carriers may or may not propose a premium increase to cover this benefit, depending upon their...

Washington Teleworks, Benefits Changes, Defense Hiring Freeze, and More

March 30, 2016 A two-day global nuclear security summit starts in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, promising commuting headaches, so the government is encouraging federal employees to telework. The event, which convenes leaders from 50 countries and four international organizations in downtown Washington on March 31 and April 1, will cause traffic congestion and...

Most Americans Disagree With Ted Cruz’s Proposal To Eliminate Several Federal Agencies

March 29, 2016 Americans like to grouse about the government, but that hasn’t translated into support for eliminating several federal agencies, according to a recent Gallup poll. Sixty-three percent of respondents to a March poll said they disagreed with a proposal from Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz to get rid of the departments...

HUD Seeks to Recoup Nearly $150,000 From Public Housing Authorities That Overpaid Executives

March 28, 2016 The Housing and Urban Development Department is seeking reimbursement of nearly $150,000 from six public housing authorities that violated a 2014 federal spending cap on their top officials’ compensation. Public housing authorities in California, New Jersey and New York exceeded the congressionally-mandated pay cap of $157,100 in fiscal 2014 on...

Clinton and Sanders Pledge To Protect Federal Employee Pay and Benefits

March 24, 2016 Federal employees should be fairly compensated and their benefits protected, according to the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as president that she would ensure feds are paid fairly through “appropriate pay raises” and would “oppose across-the-board arbitrary pay freezes, retirement cuts, or cuts to...

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