Report: ‘Furloughs for state workers supported’

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that the state streamlining commission will issue a recommendation that agencies consider furloughing employees for four days each year. The recommendation fell far short of a stronger proposal that would have eliminated 5,000 state jobs per year through attrition.

Without much discussion, the Commission on Streamlining Government on Tuesday endorsed a proposal that state government workers next year take four days off without pay. The commission then turned its attention to a controversial plan to trim the state work force.

State Treasurer John Kennedy said after the meeting the furlough recommendation is meaningless because it is something agencies can already do.

“The recommendation doesn’t do anything. All it does is recommend that the agencies consider doing it,” he said.

Any furloughs would have to be approved by the state Department of Civil Service.

However, the Streamlining Commission wants agencies to “consider using furloughs to keep costs down” in the state budget year that starts July 1.

Revenue for state services is expected to drop by $1 billion for that fiscal year.

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'Commission to find ways to cut state government'

A legislatively-created panel intended to develop a plan for shrinking state government will hold its first meeting on July 27.

The first meeting is expected to be organizational and will elect officers and set a course for work.

The new law calls for the panel to make its initial report to lawmakers and the governor no later than Dec. 15. The commission must prepare its recommendations on reorganizing state government by Jan. 4. Legislative committees must review the plans for possible reorganization by Feb. 1 for possible action at next year’s legislative session.

The Commission on Streamlining Government is charged with examining each state agency’s activities, functions, programs, services, powers and responsibilities to determine which ones can be eliminated, streamlined, consolidated or possibly turned over to the private sector.

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