A follow up to this morning’s post PolWatchers has a post on how Steve Beshear will deal with the short fall. In a 2:00pm Friday press conference, Steve Beshear directed state agencies:
To slash agency spending, Beshear has asked departments to:
- Reduce the state workforce by attrition and limit new hires to "crucial" positions only.
- Review state contracts for savings. "All new contracts, including personal service contracts and leases, must be justified as essential to the delivery of services and must demonstrate that the service cannot be provided with existing personnel," Beshear's budget reduction order says. Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary Jonathan Miller will be assigned to review all other contracts, as well.
- Cut amount devoted to travel expenses. That includes making the state's vehicle fleet more efficient (something Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration did by purchasing hybrid vehicles), as well as increasing the use of video conferencing.
- Reduce printing budgets in every agency, especially by encouraging use more electronic data transfers.
- Place a moratorium on furniture and equipment purchases and selling off surplus property.
- Reduce discretionary spending. "No area of spending is immune," the administration's press release says.
So what does this mean in real terms?
Here’s the message to state workers.
Turn the heat down and the lights off. Bring your own pens and paper. Use your own car at your expense to travel or don’t travel. Your chair broke, go buy your own. Too bad your computer died, there’s an adding machine in the backroom. If the management can think of anything else to cut we will. Do not expect a promotion or to replace anyone who leaves because of the working conditions, unless they have political connections.
As one state director told a group of us employees, "Just be damn glad you have a job."
In other words we have the standard, predictable entrance of a new administration cooking the books on the backs of state employees.