State budgets energy

By FRED LUCAS State Journal Staff Writer Published:

State buildings aren't as warm and bright as they used to be.

The Capitol dome no longer shines at night. Space heaters aren't used as much. Doors that were once propped open are now closed. Computers are turned off after hours.

At least that's the idea as everyone is expected to cut corners while the state deals with the $394 million budget shortfall. Gov. Paul Patton issued an executive order telling every state cabinet and agency to save 10 percent on utility costs. A plan is due today from each agency over how to achieve that cost savings over the next year.

These simple measures, and others, could save $3 million a year, said Jill Midkiff, spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Finance and Administration, which is charged with implementing the reduction for various agencies. State government, including universities and schools, spends a total of $120 million on utilities alone.

In a memo sent out to cabinet secretaries and agency heads on Jan. 2, Finance and Administration Secretary Gordon C. Duke said "we also need the assistance of the agencies - particularly those who operate their own facilities - as we roll this program out statewide."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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