Pawlenty orders state government hiring freezeby Melanie Sommer, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty has imposed a hiring freeze on most state agencies, due to concerns over the state's projected budget deficit.
The governor Tuesday directed all state departments to leave vacant positions unfilled, and distribute the work among other employees.
"As our administration addresses the forecast budget deficit, we need to tighten our own belts and set an example of good fiscal stewardship," he said.
Pawlenty said certain critical positions, such as prison guards, tax collection officials, and emergency management staff may be filled, but every hiring decision must be overseen by senior department staff, and each must be explained in writing to the Commissioner of Employment Relations.
The state's two-year budget deficit is currently forecast at $373 million, but it's expected to become larger when the next budget forecast is released later this month.