Forced to give up a total of $400 million from their budgets, agencies have conserved cash in less than extreme ways: for example, putting a freeze on new BlackBerry purchases, relying more heavily on teleconferencing, limiting requests for outside counsel, or passing more costs down to the county level. Virtually all of the state's more than 200,000 employees get to keep their jobs. To cut down on personnel costs, agencies are limiting new hires to "critical functions" or slightly reducing payrolls through attrition.
"This has been an exercise in painless paring," a fiscal analyst for the Manhattan Institute, E.J. McMahon, said. [Read_more]