LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed an executive order authorizing paid leave for state employees impacted by severe weather after a devastating tornado in Little Rock. 

The order will allow employees of the state of Arkansas to take paid leave in order to respond to damage or injuries caused by recent severe weather. 

“It would be in the best interest of the State of Arkansas, and would promote the most efficient operation of state government, to allow these state employees to take emergency paid leave to address the losses they have incurred in the wake of such weather conditions,” read the order. 

Beginning April 3, all executive branch agency directors will be able to grant up to 40 hours of emergency paid leave to agency employees whose principal place of residence is located in a county that has been declared to be a disaster area. 

The executive order will not apply to any members of the legislative or judicial branch in Arkansas government.

Academic personnel at state institutions, the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Commissioner of State Lands, State Treasurer and employees of the Arkansas Department of Transportation and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are all excluded as well. 

The order says that nothing will prevent the additional use of earned leave, even if an employee has used all 40 hours of emergency leave.