Gov. Brian Sandoval says he'll propose ending mandatory furloughs for state workers beginning next year.

Employees have been forced to take unpaid days off since 2009. Sandoval's initial $6.5 billion general fund budget proposal included reducing unpaid days off from six to three in each of the next two years.

But in a letter sent to state workers Monday, the governor says savings from lower employee benefit premiums will free up money to put an end to furloughs beginning July 1, 2014.

Sandoval's budget also includes restoring merit pay increases next year.   (AP)