Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gov Signs Budget Bill with Several Line-Item Vetos

Some 19,000 classified state employees will have to take five unpaid "furlough" days, as a result of action Gov. Bill Richardson took today.

In addition, Richardson said he's cutting at least 84 exempt positions -- though it's not clear how many of those already are vacant.

“A lot of individuals will lose their jobs," Richardson said when asked about the exempt positions at a news conference. "But again we have not notified anyone. We are working on that. I want to do this in a humane way. And I will say this: a lot of these exempt workers do valuable work. They run state government. And I feel tehy’ve been unfairly targeted. But because of the budget situation we are going to take action on those who perhaps are not in critical areas and we’re going to trim it down. 84 will not be the end of it.”

Richardson signed HB 17, but as expected there were significant sections that he vetoed.

He vetoed the section mandating 7.6 percent cuts in agencies under his control as well as the section calling for 102 exempt positions to be axed. By executive order he's reducing state agency budgets by $79 million, which is about 3.3 percent.

The furloughs apply to both classified and exempt employees -- at least the ones who don't lsoe their jobs. Richardson said he'll voluntarily return five days of his salary to the state, "But I won't take the days off."

Here's a copy of his executive message on HB 17.

HB 17