Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Restructuring State Government

In this morning's meeting with Jack Markell, I asked why the present budget proposal didn't include any big restructuring plans. The governor said we can expect such proposals down the road.
First, Markell noted that he and his team have been on the job for ten weeks, and that it's hard to identify genuine savings opportunities in such a short time. He said he is taking a longer look at possible savings, and mentioned that roughly 100 state workers retire every month. That number may be significantly higher in the next several months due to a sense of uncertainty among state employees. Over the next year or so, these retirements will create savings comparable to the proposed 8 percent salary cut, and create restructuring opportunities that Markell intends to use.
He also noted that the $155 million in stimulus funding being used to help with the deficit will go away and that other savings or revenue will have to be found.
Governor Markell mentioned that he is open to considering the consolidation of school districts and taking a closer look at government services at state, county and local levels. Based on my own experience, I can say that these issues are fraught with issues of equity of service levels and funding.
For those concerned that we may be passing up the chance to enact more sweeping changes in state government, the answer is that we have the time and the need to do it right. Stay tuned.


Anonymous Mark H said...

I'm still of the belief that that's why the 8% figure was so high..To get more State employees to retire.
(But I don't trust anyone).

I'd buy his (Markell's) restructuring argument also. I believe the final report for the committee looking at that stuff is Due in May. Most of the restructuring would require changes in Delaware Code, which really can't get done before July

9:17 PM, April 01, 2009  

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