You didn’t read an old headline. Today is 2017, and our economy has mostly recovered from the Great Recession, but faulty information in budgeting at the DoI has forced the Department to implement layoffs and furloughs for its workforce according to the AJC.
The Department of Insurance was trying to offer higher, more competitive wages to employees in order to stem off an exodus of employees leaving the Department for better pay at other state and local agencies:
“The department was losing employees to other state and local agencies because our salaries were not competitive,” [Commissioner Ralph Hudgens] said in a statement. “We performed a comparative job market analysis across state and municipal agencies and brought our employees’ salaries up to a competitive rate over a period of 18 months.
“During this process, the in-house budget information I received about available funds was inaccurate, thus putting a strain on our budget,” he added. “Like every household in Georgia, the department has to balance its budget, and we will do so this year.”
The agency has reduced its workforce from 310 in 2009 to a low of 209 in 2012 to 216 today. Those 216 workers were told of the furloughs Thursday. A plan for implementing those layoffs and furloughs has not been developed as required by state law.
Commissioner Hugdens’ current term ends in 2019. It’s assumed that he will run for re-election in 2018. No other candidates have announced.