Governor to veto item eliminating 250 political posts

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Gov. Paul Patton said he'll veto portions of the budget, passed last week by the General Assembly, that call for eliminating political jobs and for hiring freezes, among other items.

Both the House and Senate passed the $14 billion budget bill by a super majority, enough to override any veto.

The budget targeted the elimination of 250 slots for nonmerit employees, appointed directly by the governor. Patton said at a press conference Wednesday the positions could be eliminated, but he was vetoing the language because it's too restrictive.

"The restriction, which is the part we want to veto, limits it to certain classes of administrative personnel like cabinet secretaries, commissioners, executive directors, that is a list of about 800 people," Patton said. "If we reduce 800 by 250, state government would be decimated."

Patton said if the veto is sustained by the legislature, the administration will make its best effort to eliminate the positions by Dec. 1 through attrition of lower-level employees.

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

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