There is good news and bad news for state employees. Many of them can sleep in Wednesday, thanks to the storm. But there’s a catch: the sleepy heads have to accept the fact they are non-essential, a label to be worn uneasily in these tough fiscal times.

“No state employee except essential state employees – and they know who they are – are expected, would be required, to report to work any earlier than 12 p.m.,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday night.

Of course, there was no intent to diminish the importance of state employees who are not needed during a storm. The whole essential/non-essential thing is in the context of who the state can do without for a half-day or so during a storm.

Still, it’s gotta to be tough to tell the spouse to turn off the alarm, that only the essential are wanted in the office.

Ben Barnes, the budget chief with a reputation for having a bone-dry sense of humor, deadpanned Tuesday night that he is working Wednesday.

The other folks who need to show up include state troopers and correction officers. Malloy declined to enumerate the others.

As he said, “They know who they are.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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