State layoffs possible but not inevitable

FRED LUCAS State Journal Staff Writer Published:

By FRED LUCAS

State Journal Staff Writer

Layoffs of state employees might be inevitable with cuts or with no increased revenue, Gov. Paul Patton conceded Thursday. But it's still not a certainty.

In the midst of a $500 million budget shortfall, a 5 percent across-the-board cut would mean about 1,900 employees would lose their jobs. But that number is likely the worst-case scenario, acting state budget director Mary Lassiter told The State Journal.

"It will likely be less than that," Lassiter said. "Some agencies have said their budgets are very personnel-intensive."

This is a reversal from what Patton said earlier, announcing there would likely be no layoffs, but the workforce would be cut by 1,000 through attrition or retirements.

But Patton said at a Thursday press conference that if cuts are imposed, layoffs of state employees will be "inevitable."

"This needs to be a joint effort of the legislature and the governor's office to come up with the least onerous solution to the problem that we can devise," Patton said.

For more on this story see today's State Journal

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