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Gov. Rendell Anticipates 700 State Worker Layoffs Resulting From Budget Cuts

Gov. Rendell this week said about 700 state workers will have to be furloughed as a result of the cuts to the FY 2010-11 budget, down from 1,000 he anticipated earlier.

           Where the state worker cuts will happen has not yet been decided.
            During FY 2009-10, 147 employees and vacancies were eliminated from the departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources and eliminate another 186 full time vacant positions for a total reduction of 333 positions.  (11/23/10 Pa Environment Digest)
            In addition 1,131 seasonal workers at DCNR had their positions eliminated or hours reduced in State Park and Forestry operations-- 240 seasonal positions were eliminated over the last year and 891 seasonal workers had their hours reduced.
            Since 2002-03, DEP has lost nearly 20 percent of its staff and positions due to budget cuts, but the number of laws it has to enforce and its program responsibilities have not been reduced.
            Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) is extremely concerned about upcoming state job cuts and feels that this was a completely unnecessary tactic in order to pass the 2011-12 state budget:
            "The 2011-12 state budget represented a $207.2 million increase over last year's budget. I have said it time and time again that the additional spending in this budget would have a devastating impact on Pennsylvanians. Well, here we are, with hundreds of imminent layoffs. Layoffs that never should have been a part of this budget plan. Not in this economic climate when many of these state workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck and the loss of a job will be completely devastating to their families. And certainly not while we continue to support illegal immigrants, $10 million libraries named after elected officials, $10 million public policy centers and $1 million jazz festivals in Philadelphia.
            "Those who supported this budget should have thought about ways to save money, before spending money that we don't have. They should have resolved the ongoing issue of waste and fraud in our welfare system instead of increasing spending by $1.2 billion. This budget was utterly irresponsible and now 700 state workers are going to have to pay the price. While it may not seem like a big deal to the governor, who has obviously lost touch with reality, I understand the real plight of families in our communities and I know how distressing this will be to those individuals.
            "The bottom line is that this budget did nothing to protect Pennsylvanians and now it is apparent that the result will indeed be more residents added to our unemployment rolls and, potentially, our welfare rolls.
            "Gov. Rendell has always used state employees as pawns in order to get his initiatives through the Legislature. Unfortunately, this year was no different. Personal initiatives should never be a part of the budget negotiation equation and our focus should be on passing a budget to keep state government operating and retain jobs. I truly hope that the governor will reconsider these layoffs and remember that the most important job we have to do, as elected officials, is protect the residents of our great Commonwealth."
            NewsClips:  Rendell Lowers Projection Of State Layoffs To 700
                                 State Employee Layoffs Loom, 700 Workers Targeted
                                 Rendell: Hundreds Of State Worker Layoffs On The Way
                                 Rendell Calls On Lawmakers To Act On Road Maintenance
                                 Rendell Seeks Special Session To Fill Road Funding Gap


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