Beginning on page 37 of our 2012-13 Overview of the May Revision, we discuss the Governor's proposal to (1) eliminate about 11,000 "historically vacant" authorized positions, (2) eliminate the practice of reducing departmental budgets to account for "normal salary savings," and (3) hold departments harmless in the process.
This proposal should be more fully developed by the administration and, if resubmitted later, fully vetted by the Legislature over at least several months in some future year. While the proposal seemingly would have no effect on the number of people currently employed by the state or the amount of money spent by departments, it could result in staffing levels far different from priorities of the Legislature. The proposal apparently would contribute nothing to balancing the 2012-13 budget. As a result, we recommend that the Legislature reject the Governor’s proposal now and suggest that the administration may choose to submit detailed proposals in the future justifying why vacant positions should be eliminated and how this new position budgeting process would work in future years. Legislative review of such a proposal would require extensive time of legislators and staff.