Gov. Healey tightening hiring procedures for state jobs after months-long revenue slide

Gov. Maura Healey plans to tighten hiring procedures for some state jobs as revenues continue to remain in a tough spot eight months into the fiscal year, according to a spokesperson for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

The move means all new hires, with some exceptions, will be subject to individual approval starting Wednesday by the state’s budget office based on time-sensitivity and importance of positions, according to the Healey administration.

Tax collections in Massachusetts have consistently come in below expectations more than half way through fiscal year 2024, putting a strain on Beacon Hill budget writers who are also contending with a nearly $1 billion a year tab for emergency shelters that has prompted top Democrats to warn of further challenges.

Administration and Finance Secretary Matthew Gorzkowciz said officials are not putting in place a “hiring freeze” but rather implementing “hiring controls within the executive branch for the remainder of the fiscal year as one tool at our disposal to responsibly manage spending over the next three months.”

“These hiring controls, while temporary, will help ensure that the administration can balance the budget at the end of the year and preserve critical funding for core programs and services,” Gorzkowicz said in a statement Tuesday night.

The Boston Globe first reported the move, though it described it as a freeze.

It was not immediately clear how far-reaching the administration planned to go with their more stringent hiring protocols. But the state’s budget office said certain positions like direct care and public safety personnel will be exempt.

Seasonal positions, those that have to be filed due to a court order or settlement, returns from leave, and offers of employment made before April 3 “will also proceed,” according to the Executive Office of Administration and Finance.

Months of below benchmark revenues led Healey in January to lower tax expectations by $1 billion for this fiscal year and slash $375 million from the state budget. The decision to tighten up hiring in state government signals another escalation in the cost saving mindset that has taken hold on Beacon Hill this year.

Revenue figures for March are scheduled to be released Wednesday and could offer more insight into why Healey made the decision to pause hiring. Fourth quarter revenues carry “significant risk” to budgeted revenues, state budget officials said.

Healey is not considering further unilateral cuts to the fiscal year 2024 budget, according to the state’s budget office.

Source link


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *