State Job Cuts Underway
The anticipated elimination of the jobs of some non-merit employees in Kentucky government has begun.In order for the new state budget approved by lawmakers in May to balance, Gov. Beshear must find $131 million in efficiencies. He’s already ordered furloughs to save $24 million, and now he’s ordering the elimination of some non-merit positions to save another $5 million. Kerri Richardson of the governor’s office says the job cuts will be proportional.“We’ve got this $5 million figure that we have to cut in order to meet the non-merit personnel reduction goal. And each cabinet and agency got a proportional share of that $5 million that they have to meet,” she said.Richardson says each cabinet and agency is deciding how to make the reductions, including attrition, retirements or job cuts. The administration is not prepared at this point to say how many jobs are being eliminated, and agency heads aren’t talking either. Non-merit employees are political appointees who don’t enjoy the job protections of merit employees.