The governor has informed the state Legislature he will furlough nearly 1,000 state workers unless the Legislature approves the legalization of table games at Pennsylvania slot parlors by the end of this week.
The list of furloughs includes 112 positions with the State Police and 299 workers from the state Corrections Department. (You know Rendell is blowing smoke when he puts public safety at risk to get his way on expanded gambling).
The problem is that when the Legislature and Rendell agreed to a budget deal after a 101-day impasse, the agreement included the expansion of gambling, which would bring in $250 million needed to "balance" the 2009-10 General Fund budget. I put "balance" in quotes because the state has already run up a $254 million deficit after six months and there's no way the current budget will balance by June 30.
The Democratic-controlled state House has been debating expanded gambling for months, but Democratic leaders do not have enough vote to pass the controversial expansion bill.
Below is a copy of the memo the Rendell Administration has released, outlining the number of jobs to be cut from each department:
TO: Cabinet Secretaries and Agency HeadsGovernor's Office Directs Agencies to Prepare for Furloughs
FROM: Naomi Wyatt, Secretary of Administration
DATE: January 5, 2010
RE: Furlough information
This memo is a follow-up to Steve Crawford's December 22, 2009, memo regarding furlough planning.
To be prepared in the event a gaming bill is not enacted, enclosed is a list that provides each of you with a furlough target for your agency. The list was developed by spreading 1,000 furloughs proportionally across all agencies' general fund complement as of December 11, 2009. (Federal, restricted, billed, and special fund complement was excluded; split-funded complement was included.)
Please begin developing a plan to implement the furloughs associated with your agency. Your plan should anticipate that furloughs could occur before the end of January. We will schedule a meeting in early January to provide additional details and information.
(Note: the number of proposed furloughs is followed by the number of full-time equivalent of General Fund positions):
Corrections: 299 (out of 15,436 positions)
Labor & Industry: 6 (out of 288 positions)
Military & Veterans Affairs: 38 (out of 1,914 positions)
General Services: 20 (out of 1,060 positions)
Education: 6 (out of 305 positions)
Revenue: 31 (out of 1,620 positions)
Dept. of State: 2 (out of 93 positions)
State Police: 112 (out of 5,772 positions)
Public Welfare: 333 (out of 17,244 positions)
Community & Economic Development: 5 (out of 299 positions)
Probation & Parole: 22 (out of 1,090 positions)
Historical & Museum Commission: 4 (out of 186 positions)
PA Emergency Management Agency: 2 (out of 111 positions)
Environmental Protection: 31 (out of 1,647 positions)
Conservation & Natural Resources: 24 (out of 1,281 positions)
PA Securities Commission: 1 (out of 76 positions)
Health: 19 (out of 992 positions)
Agriculture: 7 (out of 368 positions)
Insurance: 4 (out of 246 positions)
Executive Offices: 28 (out of 1,463 positions)
Governor's Office: 1 (out of 58 positions)
Total: 995 (out of 51,577 positions)
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS