Quick Hit: Governor’s Work Force Reduction Numbers
Governor Carcieri outlined his $200 million state budget reduction plan. He only mentioned two of the three points–$50 million in cuts to social service programs and $50 million in cuts to state employee health benefits–and focused on the $100 million he intends to save via a work force reduction plan.
According to the Governor, of the 15,000 employees in RI State government, 10,072 are directly under the Governor’s authority. His administration has spent months analyzing current business plans to help determine how to make departments more efficient and cost-effective and to reduce duplication of services. He plans on cutting around 1,000 jobs via:
1) After a thorough review of current contract workers, it has been determined that 115 positions can be and will be eliminated ASAP.
2) In the 1st 2 months of Fiscal Year 2008, 87 state workers have retired or left and not been replaced. It is estimated that 400 will leave and not be replaced throughout the rest of the year.
3) 414 jobs will be eliminated throughout state government. Of these, 20% are non-union, 22% are outside contractors. The remaining 56% are union jobs. The point is that all workers will be feeling the pinch.
Finally, he asked other State government leaders–the legislature, Supreme Court, etc.–to do their part in cutting costs.
UPDATE: ProJo has more. Check out Steve People’s editorializing:
Today’s press conference marks the attempt of a governor, with plummeting poll numbers, to take control of the Smith Hill spending debate months before lawmakers return to the State House and try to rehabilitate his image along the way.
The fact that the Governor is trying to “take control of the Smith Hill spending debate” is true enough, but the bit about poll numbers and image rehabilitation–though it also may be true–doesn’t really belong in a “news” piece, does it?
UPDATE II: This morning’s ProJo piece also contains essentially the same paragraph–with an appended adjustment:
The carefully scripted news conference marks the attempt of a governor, with plummeting poll numbers, to take control of the Smith Hill spending debate three months before lawmakers return to the State House, and try to rehabilitate his image along the way, according to political observers.
Maybe it’s splitting hairs, but that qualification makes a difference. Of course, one wonders if the political observers are, um, the reporters themselves?
UPDATE III: The Governor appeared on John DePetro’s show this morning to discuss his proposals. Of note, he was quite upset with the Journal’s shaping of the story as some sort of PR stunt on his part. Guess I wasn’ t the only one to notice.