Thursday, November 12, 2009

Richardson furloughs state government workers for five days

(Updated to include links to Richardson's veto messages.)

Gov. Bill Richardson used his veto pen this afternoon to nix what he said were "irresponsible budget cuts that would have cut critical health services, closed prisons and jeopardized protection for kids."

At the same time, he signed an executive order that furloughs state workers for five days and cuts state agency budgets by an average of 7 percent for the budget year. He also said he would cut at least 84 exempt employee positions, although it's unclear which ones, and how many of those are vacant.

“Since the session ended, I have heard from hundreds to New Mexicans, including many legislators – who want me to exercise my veto pen to preserve those services,” Richardson said in statement. “I understand and share their concerns, particularly in light of the previous budget cuts.

“However, it would be fiscally irresponsible to simply veto this bill and wait for the Legislature to meet again in January – more than half-way through the fiscal year. “Instead, I am signing an Executive Order today that directs more responsible budget cuts across state government.”

Read the veto messages here.

First, here's a look at the details of the furloughs, as ordered:

A. Immediately, the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Governor shall:

i. notify the unions with collective bargaining agreements covering employees at agencies subject to Section 1(A) or Section 1(B) of this Executive Order of the need for furloughs and discuss those furloughs with the unions;

ii. develop a furlough plan that:

a. is limited to those agencies subject to expenditure restrictions under Section 1(A) or Section 1(B) of this Executive Order;

b. is consistent with Regulation NMAC;

c. limits the number of required furlough days, which, if possible, should be no more than five (5) days during fiscal year 2010;

d. to the extent practicable and advisable, given the needs of individual agencies, schedule furlough days in a manner that least affects the provision of services to the public;

e. provides a process for limited exceptions based upon public safety, welfare, and cost-effectiveness; and

iii. seek approval of the furlough plan from the State Personnel Board in accordance with Regulation NMAC; and

iv. oversee agency implementation of the approved furlough plan.

B. Agencies subject to the approved furlough plan shall implement the plan.

C. The State Personnel Director shall issue necessary or desirable guidance to affected agencies to implement the approved furlough plan, which guidance shall help agencies avoid overtime or other liabilities during the weeks when the furlough is effective.

Now, here's a look at what else Richardson did with the budget bills:

HB 6 Transfer Reserves to General Fund
HB 16 Reduce Legislative Appropriations
SB 24 School District Flexibility and Insurance
HB 17 Reduce General Fund Appropriations
SB 29 STB Auth. for Capital Projects
SB 25 School District Cash Balance Transfers

Lastly, here's a look at how much agencies are being ordered to save:

Taxation and Revenue Department

Department of Finance and Administration

General Services Department

New Mexico Sentencing Commission

Public Defender Department


Department of Information Technology

Personnel Board

Public Employee Labor Relations Board

Border Authority

Tourism Department

Economic Development Department

Regulation and Licensing Department

New Mexico State Fair

Gaming Control Board

State Racing Commission

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission

Office of Military Base Planning and Support

Spaceport Authority

Cultural Affairs Department

New Mexico Livestock Board

Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

Intertribal Ceremonial Office

State Engineer/Interstate Stream Commission

Organic Commodity Commission

Commission on Status of Women

Office of African American Affairs

Commission for the Blind

Indian Affairs Department

Aging and Long-Term Services Department

Human Services Department, including $16 million that will be replaced by increased federal funds and appropriations from the Tobacco Settlement Program Fund

Workforce Solutions Department

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Governor's Commission on Disability

Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Department of Health, including $2 million that will be replaced by increased federal funds

Department of Environment

Office of the Natural Resources Trustee

New Mexico Health Policy Commission

Children, Youth and Families Department

Department of Military Affairs

Parole Board

Juvenile Parole Board

Corrections Department

Crime Victims Reparation Commission

Department of Public Safety

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department

Public Education Department

Higher Education Department

Total General Fund Savings:

No comments:

Post a Comment