State to lose 1200plus workers

first_imgBudget cuts approved by the Legislature last week continue to shrink the size of Washington government, dropping worker head counts to levels not seen in a decade or more.All told, 1,266 additional full-time jobs in state government will be eliminated by June 30. The biggest single reduction is the 902 jobs to be cut from the Washington State Liquor Control Board by June 1, which is the result of voters passing Initiative 1183 to privatize state liquor sales and distribution.Other big reductions include a net 440 full-time equivalent jobs, or FTEs, cut from the Department of Social and Health Services, which has already shed nearly 17 percent of its staff since June 2008.Past reductions at DSHS, the state’s biggest general-government agency, have come even while requests for benefits such as food stamps rose by 30 percent at one point, spokesman Thomas Shapley said.Virtually all of the new cuts are to positions that currently are vacant.“We have done everything we can … to make the reductions away from the front lines,” Shapley said.The bipartisan supplemental budget passed last week authorized 104,841 state positions, according to estimates released this week by the governor’s Office of Financial Management. Given that agencies are continuing to lose staff through retirements, it is unclear how many of the job cuts — outside of the liquor agency — must be delivered via layoffs.last_img