Despite the prospect of exploding budget gaps in the future, Albany has taken only modest steps toward streamlining state government, such as closing a few prisons and offering $20,000 buyouts to state employees.

In contrast, the Rhode Island governor and leaders of public employee unions tentatively have agreed to 12 payless furlough days (equivalent to a 4.5 percent pay cut) and postponing for six month their next scheduled pay hike.

Nationwide, Stateline.org reports “More and more state leaders from both political parties are talking about changing the face of state government as the recession severely limits the services states can offer.”

“Indiana will have fewer dollars to work with in 2011 than we did in 2007,” Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) recently told a gathering of state capitol reporters in Indianapolis, according to The Statesman-Journal of Salem, Ore. “That says you cannot have the same government you had, unless you plan to go broke.”

“Mitch Daniels is right,” Oregon’s Democratic governor, Ted Kulongoski, told the newspaper.

But as Stateline.org points out savings can be modest.

And Kulongoski’s counterpart to the north, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), found out that lawmakers aren’t always willing to go along with “streamlining.” Gregoire earlier this year proposed eliminating a third of the state’s nearly 500 citizen boards and commissions; the legislature got rid of just 18 of them, while Gregoire eliminated another 50 by executive order….

(snip)

While state and local workforces are shrinking, they are doing so at a rate of only about 1 percent, The Christian Science Monitor noted. That pales in comparison to what is happening in other sectors of the economy. But with state and local workforces growing substantially over the past two decades and localities traditionally reluctant to thin their police and firefighter ranks, “even modest reductions are causing…a stir,” The Monitor said.

Originally Published: NY Public Payroll Watch

You may also like

Another Hochul To-Do: Timely Financial Reporting

The state will spend a record $212 billion in the current 2022 Fiscal Year, under the budget its elected leaders adopted in April. Read More

Health Research Inc. Turns Over its Payroll Records Despite Claiming To Be Exempt from FOIL

The full payroll records of more than 2,400 de facto state employees are available to the public for the first time after being released by Health Research Inc. Read More

Emergency Billions Pose Opportunity—and Risk—for NYS Schools

New York schools are to post publicly today plans for spending a huge pile of unexpected and unbudgeted cash. Read More

New York’s Medicaid Rolls Kept Pace with a Nationwide Surge During the Pandemic

New York's Medicaid and Child Health Plus programs added three-quarters of a million enrollees during the coronavirus pandemic, roughly matching the pace of a national surge in sign-ups. Read More

New York’s Medicaid and Public Health Crises Get Short Shrift in the New State Budget

In spite of an ongoing pandemic and spiraling Medicaid costs, New York's health-care system received surprisingly little attention in the new state budget. On issue after issue, law Read More

Schumer’s First Spending Bill as Majority Leader Tailors Money for New York Medicaid

The pandemic relief bill includes a boost in Medicaid funding that appears to be tailor-made for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Read More

A Letter From Washington Shrinks New York’s Budget Gap by $2 Billion or More

In a letter to governors two days after President Biden's inauguration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that the pandemic-related federal public health emergency "will likely remain in place for the entirety of 2021." Read More

Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal leaves the Medicaid throttle open

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Governor Cuomo's Medicaid budget is how little it changes the program's spending pattern. In spite of a once-in-century pandemic that rocked the state's health-care system and decimated state revenues, the govern Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!