Plans released today by the governor’s office show the directors of executive branch agencies propose cutting 1,321 jobs in state government. There would be an estimated 791 state worker layoffs and another 529 positions which are currently open would be eliminated. The plans were released today in response to Governor Chet Culver’s call for a 10% across the board budget cut to meet a shortage in the state budget.
Two-thirds of the job cuts, or 777, are in the Department of Corrections. That includes 262 positions which are currently vacant. The governor says he wants to find a way to “mitigate” the impact on the state’s prison system.
The cuts do not include the state universities, nor do they include cuts in the judicial or legislative branches of state government. The governor hopes to finalize the plans for cuts in the executive branch by the end of this month.
See the budget proposals on the governor’s website here.
Here is a statement on the layoffs from the state’s largest employee union, AFSCME Iowa Council 61:
“At this time, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is still reviewing the plans released by the Governor’s office this morning for layoffs in state agencies. We want to reiterate our expectation that going forward, the State of Iowa should treat this current situation the same as it would a major plant closing, and provide all appropriate support to workers who are being laid off that is available to them. As AFSCME is a democratic organization, we will not be issuing further comment until such time as the leadership of this Council can meet with our State Bargaining Committee and our Members to discuss these matters further.”