Tuesday is the deadline for state agency directors to submit their budget-cutting plans to the governor’s office. Governor Culver has promised that all those details will be open to public scrutiny tomorrow. “We’re not hiring anyone right now. There’s a freeze. We’re cutting back on travel even more than we have before, so we’re finding savings every day,” Governor Culver says.
“And we will have the details of those plans made public, actually, on the 20th of October. You’ll see the plan and then we’ll have a little back and forth in terms of agreeing on a final one.” The “final” budget cutting should be in place by Tuesday, October 27th, which means layoff notices for hundreds of state workers may go out at the end of the month.
Union contracts, however, allow longterm workers who get a pink slip to take the job of another employee who does not have as much seniority. That process, called “bumping” as one worker bumps another of the job, takes some time. “If we started, for example, a layoff process today, it takes a lot of time,” Culver says. “I mean, just going through the required steps of a layoff plan — we are required by law to go through a fairly extensive process, so it’s likely that we will not see layoffs until late this year in some cases because of that process that we are required to go through.”
Governor Culver ordered a 10%, across the board cut on October 8th. Ten percent amounts to a 565 million dollar reduction in state executive branch agencies. The chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court has ordered a 10% cut in the judicial branch. Leaders of the Iowa House and Senate have announced plans for a 10 percent cut in the legislative branch as well.