Governor Tom Vilsack says it’s time to stop bashing state employees, and he honored about a thousand state workers today with so-called “Golden Dome” awards for their commitment to public service. State workers feel a bit beleaguered by drastic state budget cuts and the prospect of more layoffs. Vilsack says it’s easy to vilify state workers, until you realize they’re real people doing extraordinary work.Drucinda Saathoff, a financial services officer at the Fort Dodge prison, has a message for Iowans. She says they strive to do their best every day and are not the stereotypical picture of a state worker.Dave Ritchey, a senior policy analyst for the Department of Revenue and Finance — the state’s tax collection agency, echoes those sentiments. He says they get the feeling sometimes that the general public believes they don’t work very hard. He says they put in a lot of extra time and work hard.The state government’s workforce has been reduced by eight percent over the past year.
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