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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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House OKs Bill With Pay Raise for Troops, Pay Freeze for Some Officers

December 4, 2014 The House on Thursday passed a $585 billion Defense authorization bill that would give service members a 1 percent pay raise in 2015. Lawmakers upheld the president’s recommendation to give troops a 1 percent pay boost next year – the same amount they received in 2014 – and slightly less ...

Military Pay Raise Set for 1 Percent

December 3, 2014 Service members are on track to receive a 1 percent pay increase next year, slightly less than the 1.8 percent boost that would take place automatically under the annual cost-of-living adjustment. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees released summaries on Tuesday of the final version of the fiscal 2015 ...

Military Pay Raise Set For 1 Percent

December 3, 2014 Service members are on track to receive a 1 percent pay increase next year, slightly less than the 1.8 percent boost that would take place automatically under the annual cost-of-living adjustment. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees released summaries on Tuesday of the final version of the fiscal 2015 ...

A Primer on Pay and Benefits During a Shutdown

December 2, 2014 The government probably won’t shut down next week. But if it does, we thought a refresher on how shutdowns affect federal employees’ pay and benefits would be useful. Once again, we’re down to the wire: Congress’ top priority over the next week is to pass legislation keeping the government open ...

Agencies Do Not Have to Grant Special Paid Leave to Feds Exposed to Ebola

November 26, 2014 Agencies should grant “excused absence” to asymptomatic, quarantined federal employees exposed to Ebola because of their work, the Office of Personnel Management has recommended. But they don’t actually have to do that, and can put certain limitations around that type of leave if they do. That’s the latest guidance from ...

VA Fires Another Senior Exec

November 25, 2014 The Veterans Affairs Department has fired another senior executive. Sharon Helman, the director of the Phoenix VA health care system, was the career official at the center of the scandal involving data manipulation and excessive wait times for patients seeking care. Helman was “formally removed” from federal service, the department ...

Changes to Catastrophic Health Protection in 2015 Should Reassure Feds

November 21, 2014 Federal employees and retirees will have some added health insurance protection in 2015 if disaster strikes. Beginning next year, many enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program won’t have to worry about paying separate (i.e., potentially more) out-of-pocket expenses for different benefits, like prescription drugs, the way some currently ...

Veteran Suicides Highlight Tragic Consequences of Bureaucracy

November 19, 2014 “Mom, I can’t go back there,” Clay Hunt told his mother back in March 2011. The place was just too stressful, said the Marine Corps combat veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress. Hunt wasn’t talking about Iraq or Afghanistan. He was talking about the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, Texas. ...

Chaffetz Will Replace Issa as House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman

November 18, 2014 Rep. Jason Chaffetz is the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform panel, besting several more senior Republicans for the top slot. The media-savvy Utah Republican replaces Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who for the last six years has presided over one of the chamber’s most partisan committees. The contest ...

TSP Board Green Lights More Homework on Mutual Fund Option

November 17, 2014 Members of the board that oversees the Thrift Savings Plan gave agency staff the green light on Monday to put together a plan next year for eventually allowing participants to invest some of their money in mutual funds of their choosing. “It’s a conceptual approval,” said Kim Weaver, director of ...