Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gov. Bobby Jindal to order state hiring freeze

Governor Bobby Jindal has ordered a limited hiring freeze for the executive branch of state government. The order comes as state government deals with the costs of the two recent hurricanes in the midst of national economic uncertainty, volatile oil prices, state revenue declines, and a projected $1.3 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year.

The freeze, would affect an estimated 3,000 state jobs that are currently vacant and would save an estimated $25 million in the current fiscal year, according to state budget director Ray Stockstill.

Jobs that deal directly with providing health-care and public safety will be exempted from the freeze, and agency heads can petition the Division of Administration for exceptions, Stockstill said.

It's the second hiring freeze ordered by Jindal since he took office Jan. 14. The first, which was implemented on his first full day as governor, ran through the June 30 end of the fiscal year and saved the state more than $30 million, according to administration figures.

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