Governor asks employees for help in cutting budget

If you’re a state employee, Gov. Steve Beshear needs your help in cutting the budget.

Beshear said Wednesday that he’s asking state employees for suggestions on ways to cut costs— and save jobs.

The governor’s office sent an e-mail to all state employees Wednesday, asking for their ideas on where to make the cuts.
“We need people from all levels and areas to take a look around and let us know if they think their agency or any other areas of state government could be operating more efficiently,” Beshear said in a news release. “Every dollar we can save through these cost-saving measures will help preserve jobs.”

The  state’s Employee Suggestion System, an online project administered by the Personnel Cabinet since 1981, “accepts suggestions from merit employees who have proposals for ways to improve government operations and save money,” the news release said.

If an employee’s suggestion is implemented, he or she may be eligible for a cash reward. 

In the past, non-merit employees have not been able to offer comments through the site. But Beshear’s office said the site will now “offer the means to collect input from non-merit employees, although they will not be eligible for cash rewards.”

Nonmerit employees are those whose jobs are not protected by the state’s merit system. They include cabinet and deputy secretaries, commissioners, directors, public-affairs officers, attorneys and others who serve at the governor’s discretion.

“The state workforce is comprised of employees who care deeply about the efficiency and resourcefulness of their agencies, so who better to ask for input and ideas than our employees,” Nikki Jackson, secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, said in the news release.

“During the past two years alone, the savings realized by implementing employee suggestions has totaled $2.1 million,” she said.

Beshear is trying to close a $1.5 billion spending gap this time.
But every little bit helps.

State employees can submit their suggestions at http://personnel.ky.gov.

Advertisements

Kentucky not alone in higher education funding challenges

Stateline.org takes a look at how states have handled funding for higher education in a year when budgets for states – as well as for parents and students – are tight.

Kentucky figures prominently in the article by Pauline Vu, which found that many states, including Kentucky, took steps to try to protect higher ed while slashing budgets elsewhere in state government.

However, it looks like the good news in the article is only that those education budgets weren’t cut quite as deeply as expected rather than completely protected from the knife.

Stateline.org is an online state news site funded in part by The Pew Charitable Trusts and is a good link to add to your collection to keep up with what’s going on in other statehouses around the country.