Gov. Bill Richardson's office just announced that he'll be cutting pay for 470 top-level state workers, reducing his own security detail (beyond the guard who resigned after getting involved in that nasty hit-and-run case
) and limiting the use of state-owned aircraft
Also, fewer parties at the Guv's Mansion.
Full press release after the cut.
Governor Bill Richardson Announces New Spending Cuts in Governor's Office, State Government
Plan Includes Pay Cut for Appointed Employees
SANTA FE – Governor Bill Richardson today announced additional fiscal restraint measures aimed at reducing spending and saving money within the Governor's Office and among state employees under the Governor's authority.
“I highlighted the need for fiscal restraint in my State of the State address, and that means tough decisions must be made to balance the budget,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “So, we are implementing additional cuts in the Governor's Office and among appointed employees in order to squeeze as much savings as possible without cutting services to the public.”
The Governor already identified a 4 percent reduction in the Governor's Office annual budget. Today, the Governor took several additional steps to further reduce spending, including:
Temporary 2-percent pay cut for all exempt employees under his authority, including those in the Governor's Office
· About 470 exempt, or appointed, employees under the Governor's authority will have their salaries reduced by 2 percent, beginning in March. The pay cut would be re-evaluated at the end of the 2010 budget year.
Close Governor's Albuquerque and Las Cruces Offices
The Las Cruces office will be closed and the employee in that office will utilize existing space at another state agency.
The leased space in Albuquerque will be returned to the owner of the property to lease to another tenant. The Governor will utilize existing state agency offices for business when he is in Albuquerque.
Reduce Governor's security by 14 percent
· The Governor's Security detail, which by law is provided by the New Mexico State Police, will be reduced by 14 percent.
4. Cut Governor's Contingency Fund by 10 percent
· This fund is used by the Governor to hold public events at the Governor's Residence.
5. Limit use of state aircraft
· The Governor's Office will limit its use of the state aircraft and require state agencies to do the same.
Governor Richardson also announced an expansion of several cost-saving measures put into place in recent months, including:
Statewide hiring freeze to continue through June 30, 2010
Only critical hiring will be allowed
Salaries will remain frozen through June 30, 2010
Freeze applies to general salary increases
Keep 1,000 positions, or 5 percent of the state workforce, vacant through June 30, 2010.
Suspend the practice of compensatory time for exempt employees
Continue the freeze on non-essential overtime for classified employees through June 30, 2010
Suspend the practice of allowing exempt employees to receive a buyout for unused annual leave each year.
Continue to reduce expenses related to travel, equipment, supplies and furniture by and require quarterly reports on savings by some agencies.
Task the new Green Cabinet with implementing and enforcing energy conservation and efficiency strategies across government – targeting a $2 million savings.
Freeze upward reclassification of positions through June 30, 2010.