After I wrote this story for Saturday's paper about the ongoing hiring at state government, Gov. Bill Richardson today said he's putting it to an end. (At least for the agencies under his control.)
"We took decisive action two years ago to severely restrict hiring, which has shrunk state government by more than 2,000 employees and saved tens of millions of dollars," he said in a statement. "However, in an effort to work with governor-elect, I am suspending all hiring during the transition."
Richardson leaves office at the end of the year, making way for Gov.-elect Susana Martinez. Richardson, who implemented a hiring freeze in November 2008, has been heavily criticized for adding so many jobs to the state payroll after he was first elected, and for allowing so many exemptions to the freeze.
Maybe this is the true hiring freeze the fiscal conservatives in the Legislature -- and elsewhere in the state, for that matter -- have been seeking.