Delaware eliminates hundreds of vacant state positions

    525 vacant state positions will be removed from Delaware’s 2010 budget.

    When it comes to balancing a budget, the Markell Administration says it may have the answer – eliminate open positions without laying anyone off.
    On Monday, Governor Jack Markell announced that a total of 525 vacant state positions, available through attrition, will be removed from next year’s budget. The statewide reduction is in addition to the 485 vacant jobs previously eliminated in 2009, bringing the total up to 1,010 identified positions. Governor Markell says the decision is a significant milestone for the state. “Reducing the size of state government by 1,000 positions not only cuts our costs in the short term by millions of dollars, but I believe it will put us in a better position to meet future challenges,” Markell says.

    Governor Markell says every state agency has given up positions but the majority of eliminated positions lies in Delaware’s Departments of Correction and Health and Social Services. The effort is estimated to save the state $13.75 million in fiscal 2010.

    The announcement comes as the Delaware Office of Management and Budget begins a month of budget hearings for fiscal 2011. Shrinking state revenues has Governor Markell suggesting additional ways to address next year’s budget. Today, he laid out five key foundations for making government more affordable and cost effective in the future.

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    Governor Markell anticipates next year’s budget to be “brutal” and emphasized the fact that the budget process could be more painful than the one the state experienced last year. “There will be decisions that we may not want to make or that we may not be eager to make, but they’re decisions that we can’t ignore.”

    Despite difficult decisions ahead, Governor Markell says his administration remains committed to protecting public safety, saving taxpayer dollars and eliminating duplication of services.

    “This is a new way of thinking, a new way of doing business,” Markell says, “Frankly, it’s what people expect of us and what we expect of ourselves.”

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