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|Layoffs loom for state employees|
A number of state employees could be left biting their nails Monday, not knowing whether they'll have a job after July 1.
That's the assessment state Sen. Mike Walsworth offered earlier this week in light of budget cuts the Legislature was in the process of finalizing as the 2009 regular session came to a close. The regular session was scheduled to adjourn Thursday afternoon.
Walsworth said some state agencies would be forced to lay off employees with little or no notice to cope with budget cuts state lawmakers approved to balance the state budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The budget cuts were deemed necessary because of a $1.3-billion revenue shortfall the state faced heading into the new fiscal year.
"They (state agencies) have, basically, Monday and Tuesday to decide what they're going to do with their budgets and with their employees," said Walsworth, R-West Monroe. "That's just unfair to those people who work hard and still don't know what's going to happen with their jobs next week."
Walsworth said the reason for the late notice was two-fold. He noted the fiscal year ends June 30, or just five days after the regular session concludes. Also, legislators did not approve the state budget for the new fiscal year until this week.
That leaves state agencies little time to figure out how much money they have to spend and where to spend it.