Handel, Scott spar over $1 billion budget solution

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Karen Handel said Thursday that thousands of state employees should be laid off to help make up a potential $1 billion budget shortfall for 2011.

Handel, speaking to reporters in an impromptu news conference on press  hall across the street from the Capitol, Handel said her plan would save $404 million for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1.

Handel, a former Republican secretary of state running in a seven-way primary for the GOP nomination as governor, did not have a detailed plan for finding the other $600 million in necessary cuts that lawmakers are now struggling with, but said raising taxes is the wrong idea. She said her plan is about a structural change to state government.

“No one likes or relishes the ideas of layoffs,” she said. “That said, we’ve been entrusted with taxpayer funds. Hhow could you continue to look at state government as a jobs program rather than an entity charged with delivering limited yet key services in a cost effective way?”

Handel said her plan would protect teachers and law enforcement positions.

Shortly after Handel’s appearance, state Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton), another Republican challenger and a member of the House budget-writing committee, said layoffs are likely unavoidable, but said entire agencies are likely to be eliminated as well.

“It makes more sense to eliminate what is a non-core function of government than it does to reduce 10 percent of the workforce from what is a core function of government,” Scott said, adding that it’s well known that state jobs are likely to be lost.

“It’s no secret in the hallways over here that we’re talking about eliminating some positions.”

328 comments Add your comment

ITK

February 25th, 2010
5:34 pm

You politicians find it way too easy to balance your budgets by furloughing and laying off state employees. You need to remember that state employees are tax payers, too and have a vote come election day.

W D Brown

February 25th, 2010
5:35 pm

Once again showing she is hot on rhetoric, but cool on details, Ms. Handel provides buzz worrds, but no real details on a very real situation. In private business, divesting from non-core business is a long-standing practice.

Impressed

February 25th, 2010
5:58 pm

Are you reading the same entry I am? I am pretty sure she is doing the exact same thing but not calling that. The core businesses would be what she isn’t cutting – teachers and law enforcement -and the rest she thinks is expendable. I have dismissed her because of her GED but this actually makes me reconsider a little.

GeorgiaPeach

February 25th, 2010
6:00 pm

They’d better be careful about letting go of the people who have the very knowledge needed to keep state gov’t afloat. Not all state employees are illiterate seat warmers just waiting for retirement. They’re hard working folks with specific skills and abilities. If the Repugs are indeed out to ‘drown government in a tub of water’ they’re well on their way to doing just that. Shame on them….and God help us.

Higher Education

February 25th, 2010
6:08 pm

During the Sonny years the Repugs had jobs filled by their buddies in state goverment. These jobs were not the low paying jobs but higher mgt. positions. They made state goverment what it is today-a joke. I agree with Georgia Peach….God help us.

State Worker

February 25th, 2010
7:05 pm

She better not take my job. I already had to do some furlough days and had to work a few hours the other day after work at regular pay instead of overtime. I’ve given up enough—they need to raise taxes if necessary to pay our salaries. Georgia needs a union to protect the rights of state workers!

David In Lawrenceville

February 25th, 2010
7:05 pm

Before any state worker is laid off they eliminate all positions that have been vacant for 3 months or more. This, im my opinion, should result in considerable savings.

julia

February 25th, 2010
7:06 pm

yep go ahead and lay them off, either way they will get a Government check

who'da thunk it

February 25th, 2010
7:09 pm

From a Republican standpoint core- business is dealing with banking and real estate and collecting taxes, no social programs. Guess DFACS, Human Resources, Mental Health would be non core so out the door. I thought more of Scott before opening his mouth to try to one up Karen Handel, GED.

Marcus Graham

February 25th, 2010
7:09 pm

Karen Handel—-NO COLLEGE DEGREE…LOUD MOUTH…She uit the Secretary Of State job so she could run for governor…NO DETAILED PLANS our version of a Sarah Palin!

Ted Nougat

February 25th, 2010
7:10 pm

As a member of the Tea Party movement, I agree with Karen Handel that we should fire thousands of state employees. And I think we should fire thousands more. All government employees are nothing but liberal traitors trying to destroy our constitution. As Ronald Reagan said, “Government is the problem,” therefore it must be destroyed. Government employees don’t do anything but eat up our tax money while they hand out more of our tax money to welfare mothers. As a Tea Party member, I hate government and I hate America. Unless Republicans are in the majority, of course. In that case, I love America and I believe that we should spend whatever is necessary to wage war against people who don’t believe in Jesus.

Don't Say I Didn't Tell You

February 25th, 2010
7:14 pm

…but we will have a Democrat back in the Capital come November. Hope whoever it is doesn’t screw us either.

TazraRose

February 25th, 2010
7:17 pm

Can someone explain to me how eliminating an empty position saves money? You aren’t paying someone to do the job you are eliminating so there is no salary to save. You are, however, probably over-working and under-paying the person carrying 2 workloads thanks to the vacancy.

Jack Stilton

February 25th, 2010
7:17 pm

I guess Ms Handel doesn’t understand that the state will have to pay unemployment benefits to all of these layed off employees for about a year in a half. I guess she doesn’t know that the state taxes 5-6% of employees salaries and those employees also buy things at a 7% sales tax.

How about giving all illegals the boot, cutting off welfare queens and send prisoners to Az to wear pink panties and eat MRE’s 3 times a day. I am sure Sheriff Joe could work out a good deal for Ga.

Lori in Decatur

February 25th, 2010
7:18 pm

Please God save me from your followers like Ted Nougat! These people have zero understanding of what it means to be a contributing member of society…they only think of themselves. He and his tea partiers do not represent me and my family. I am a patriot and a humanitarian. Ted is not.

Cayce

February 25th, 2010
7:19 pm

Is that a joke Ted? Cause if it’s not, you better check that constitution you’re so proud of. Last time I looked, waging war against fellow citizens just because they disagree with you is not Democracy, it’s Fascism.

employee for the state of georgia

February 25th, 2010
7:19 pm

since she thinks the only state employees that should be protected is teachers & law enforcement, you sure won’t get the vote of all the other state employees that’s not teachers/law enforcement.

Jack from Sandy Springs

February 25th, 2010
7:22 pm

When Handel was Chair of Fulton County she deferred much needed infrastructure improvements and routine maintenance in order to roll back the millage rate for political purposes. She wanted to push the needed routine upkeep type expenditures for county facilities out beyond her term so she could show the savings on her watch knowing that doing so would cost the taxpayers more in the long run. This was not good management but was done for political grandstanding purposes. Sounds like she is back at her old tricks.

YesIDoKnow

February 25th, 2010
7:28 pm

Having previously consulted for the state for 5 years, I’ll vouch for the fact there is not only a lot
of dead wood working for the state, the state wastes money like many waste water. Many unnecessary employees, double-dipping is still common, and waste was, at the time, rampant. Cut it to the bone & start the firing process.

Lord Evan Of Arlsbury

February 25th, 2010
7:35 pm

TazraRose — it’s called accrual accounting. Just because someone isn’t being paid for the position doesn’t mean the money isn’t accrued into the budget to pay for the position. The money is sitting in an account on the balance sheet budgeted to salary expense for that position. You eliminate the position and you can release the accrual and the money that was earmarked to pay the person for that position gets freed up to be reallocated elsewhere.

Sally

February 25th, 2010
7:36 pm

Handel is right, jobs are going to have to be cut. Its the states job to provide services, not provide jobs. Jobs are a byproduct of the services that people in the state need. I don’t think we should go further into debt, otherwise it will only get worse and eventually someone will have to pay. I’d go ahead and start dusting that resume off.

JacketFan

February 25th, 2010
7:37 pm

How about cutting the salaries of elected officials? Those jobs are supposed to be a service to the state, not a career. Doubt we’d ever see that, but I guarantee that if those salaries were cut, we’d see a different breed of public servant – the kind truly dedicated to service as opposed to making a career out of politics …

brandon

February 25th, 2010
7:37 pm

Yeah, I always love the comments ’state employees pay taxes too’. Consider: let’s say a State employee is paid 50K a year, with benefits that cost the state around 65K…so they pay with deductions at the most $3000 in State income tax. So it takes over 20 employees in the private sector to support one State employee. Hey Mr./Ms. State employee; you don’t support yourself, OK, you cost. So if you are not doing something that the taxpayer needs…why should you have a job? The one thing that these difficult economic times have proven…there are a lot of things we can live without…and that includes do nothing State government employees.

luckydog

February 25th, 2010
7:40 pm

`First, close all the state parks and sell them to private enterprises, secong close all state operated medical facilities and sell them to private operations, third, discontinue state funding of scholarships, fourth, stop state funding of any county functions let the counties pay for what they want. Close state welcome stations, no more free license plates for state legislators. Sell Jekyll Island, it has never broken even. No more tax breaks to church facilities other than the immediate chapel, Make cops turn off their cruiser when they are not in it, close the state tourism department, implement extra taxes on candy,sodas,and junk food.

Lisa T

February 25th, 2010
7:41 pm

TazraRose, eliminating the position means eliminating the salary that was on hold to pay that position when it was filled. So the salary is still in the budget, even if it’s not being spent. And since state agencies have been under a hiring freeze for a couple of years, with only “critical hires” being approved by the planning & budget people, there are plenty of salaries in agency budgets just waiting to be spent – or eliminated, as it looks like will happen. And yes, you are right – there are lots of people working for the state who are carrying double workloads because of these unfilled positions, and some of us who work late nights and weekends to get the work done. I don’t have a family life, but I have a job, so I don’t complain. But my husband and kids sure do!

Patriotic American

February 25th, 2010
7:44 pm

Handel pursued a policy of disenfranchising voters because two separately collected computer files didn’t agree — which appalled even the Bush DOJ. She bragged about it, taking away Georgians right to vote, to her GOP cronies. Worse than being incompetent and uneducated — she is amoral. Give me a good ol’ GOP crook anyday.

Time To Clean House

February 25th, 2010
7:44 pm

I am tired of working until May 15th or so just to pay the taxes that the city, county, state and federal governments promptly pi$$ away. Nothing against the state employees but in order for America to get back to the roots that made it great, government needs to completely minimized.

buick59

February 25th, 2010
7:48 pm

State employees just like private sector employees are not guaranteed employment. Based on my experiences over the years many State employees act like they don’t care anyway based on how they treat us.

state worker

February 25th, 2010
7:58 pm

Hey Karen Handel… kiss my butt. You just lost my vote. I’m a state worker and If lost my job I’ll lose my house. How about this if you get elected… work for a $1 an year and save 3 jobs.

Furloughed

February 25th, 2010
7:58 pm

State employees guard prisoners from attacking your family, they educate your children, they protect you on the highways and they protect children from abusive parents. Who wants to do away with these services?

Ron Mexico

February 25th, 2010
8:01 pm

Yeah that’ll get you elected, what a moron.

Lars

February 25th, 2010
8:05 pm

Does she expect these thousands of state employees to vote for her?

handel sucks

February 25th, 2010
8:10 pm

Karen just told Georgia that she wants to hurt 1 thousand families by firing their moms and dads, so she and her cronies can sit in the big mansion. kiss our butt Karen maybe you should not take a salary or any special interest money for a year; hell how about never taking anything from lobbyist? yeah I bet that will ever happen……

MT

February 25th, 2010
8:12 pm

Lay off all the Perdue appointees. They have the highest paid jobs in state government and are the most likely to be useless political hacks.

Mark

February 25th, 2010
8:16 pm

Hey Lori in Decatur,

It’s pretty obvious Ted was mocking the Tea Party people. Read it again, and maybe this time you will see the sarcasm.

tim

February 25th, 2010
8:16 pm

Nice talk of action to gain votes, nothing will change.It’s just like debt and decaying cities including more financial extend and pretend..

Devin Banks

February 25th, 2010
8:17 pm

Yes, there is waste in State Gov’t just as there is within every corporation in America! You people who mouth off about employees not doing their jobs – just wait until they are no longer there! You will be poor mouthing then about how you “need” help or services..it shouldn’t matter who someone works for, what matters is having good employees. And Ted, you are a plant – you are not a Tea Party member – we don’t think or sound like you at all!! So think about it oh grand commentors: these people are just trying to make a living – just like you. Think before you speak!

td

February 25th, 2010
8:17 pm

The problems is when they start laying off the state workers it will be the ones that do the work that gets laid off. They should cut all those salaries of the workers making over $100,000 per year. Why does the President of UGA make $560,000 per year? There are more $100,000 plus jobs in the colleges then all the other agencies together.

The smartest plan is to start at the top and start cutting salaries until the budget in balanced because what happens to the workers you lay off? They collect unemployment, get Medicaid and Food Stamps and how is this helping our budget?

sick

February 25th, 2010
8:18 pm

Enter your comments here

Conversation

February 25th, 2010
8:24 pm

If a black american only had a GED, could he actually run for governor or even be considered for secretary of state? Let’s be honest people.

Sick&Tired

February 25th, 2010
8:29 pm

I say layoff Karen Handel now and if she becomes governor. We can do without Purdue as well.

LM

February 25th, 2010
8:33 pm

We can govern ourselves. Let’s stop the handouts and get rid of all these lazy types.

Yellowfuzz

February 25th, 2010
8:35 pm

She now has my attention and potentially more funding.We need less government and more true productivity. We need America to be strong again and not turn into Europe or fall like the Roman empire did. Quit rendering unto Ceaser… he’s too damn hungry these days.

godless heathen

February 25th, 2010
8:36 pm

I nominate first to go: Department of Community Affairs.

glenn

February 25th, 2010
8:37 pm

If you lay off 1,000’s as Handel wants to do, the state will then be paying them unemployment for ever, so what’s the difference. Just reduce their salaries.

Captain Chaos

February 25th, 2010
8:39 pm

Before she starts firing thousands of state employees, Handel might want to reconsider loosening those concealed carry laws.

KristyD

February 25th, 2010
8:43 pm

I agree with td. They need to cut the more ridiculous salaries. The people they will wind up laying off are mostly the lower-paid, $20-$30k a year employees. That will ruin lots of lives, but not save much money. They need to halve some of the ridiculous salaries, like Michael Adams’. Halving his salary could save nearly 10 “regular” people’s jobs.

Realty

February 25th, 2010
8:43 pm

lets get serious there are obviously too many employees of the state. Lots of businesses have gone out of business during the past year because they couldn’t make it financially. The government is no different. No revenue means changes…doesn’t matter whot he governor is.

pt

February 25th, 2010
8:53 pm

Eliminate state funding for GPB now, and fire the dimwit that’s now “President” of it.

NoMoGuvMint

February 25th, 2010
8:53 pm

It’s time to trim the fat off of this 800 pound thing called government. Liposuction just won’t cut it. It’s gonna take amputation!!!! It’s gonna hurt but once it heals up everyone will feel much better.

Saul Good

February 25th, 2010
8:55 pm

Ame idiot who refused to furlough any of her own employees in her department. GA: Last in education and proudly showing it daily.

Saul Good

February 25th, 2010
8:59 pm

Yellow….sorry but the “Empire” is over…it’s now China’s turn once again. ALL empires end… any history book will show you that. We gambled on cheap oil and lost… either way…it was all going to come to an end at some point. Bush and Co. just sped up the process by spending a trillion dollars “over there” instead of “over here” where we needed it… all while giving tax breaks to his wealthy buddies… so he sped up the whole thing by 15 or so years. Now step aside and let China run the show… so be it (does it REALLY MATTER if we “rule” the world)? Nobody likes a bully…and that is what we became anyway…

GA: Still running the state like Bush and Cheney ran the nation. Complete failure on all levels.

Got an idea!

February 25th, 2010
9:02 pm

Throw the baby out with the bath water! Karen Handel has no clue. Why not reduce all of the elected officials salaries? Any state worker making over 100,000 should be reduced by 10%. Than, we should stop the development of Perdue’s fishing museum that’s taking more than 25 million dollars to build in his hometown. Than, let’s take away the cars given to all of the state employees. We can also eliminate any state office outside of Atlanta. Everyone should be made to travel great distances to conduct any business with the state. Heck, eliminate all state offices and have everyone conduct their business via the internet. Legislators can legislate from home and rent out the state capital for events and workshops. Let’s vote by internet, pay your taxes via internet, and anyone that needs special assistance pay extra for the extra help. Handel please go back to school–I am begging you! That’s where you belong in school getting an education on the internet!

Saul Good

February 25th, 2010
9:06 pm

Got an Idea…. school? She never even competed college… I guess it was too “difficult” for her to spend 4 years of her early life studying and LEARNING something.

Sad State of Affairs

February 25th, 2010
9:08 pm

I’m shocked at the number of people posting that she better not cut “their” job, they’ve already had their furlough days and done “their” part. Our country is going straight down the toilet. We have reached the tipping point where the majority of people don’t pay taxes, and our government is so bloated and filled with incompetent employees that we’re beginning to look like the former Soviet Union. There, the only people with “good” jobs were the members of the communist party. Government ran everything and people stood in line all day for a loaf of bread. Are people so stupid they don’t realize it is the private sector and free enterprise that made our country great and gave us this standard of living? You don’t create jobs by raising taxes and hiring a government bureaucrat, you create jobs by allowing the producers in our society to keep more of their money to reinvest in their businesses. Government jobs don’t produce wealth, it is taking a dollar from someone who earned it in a private sector job and giving it to someone in a government job who doesn’t “create” anything. I work in a private sector job in an industry that has seen hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs as the private sector self-corrects. Now I see these posts from these idiot government employees that no one better take “their” job?? Our company has not only laid off over 50% of our workforce over the past two years, those of us that remain are working much longer hours and have accepted an across the board 10% pay cut. These furlough days that these jerks complain about amount to less than 5% of their salary. Go get a real job if you lose your government job you clowns! Yeah, unions are the answer too. Don’t you realize that they are part of the problem in this country? We can’t compete internationally for manufacturing jobs because the unions in this country drove salaries up to nonsensical levels. When you have people getting paid over $50/hr to paint pinstripes on cars, there is a problem. That is why all the manufacturing has moved overseas, not because our government didn’t do more to “protect” those jobs. Protectionism doesn’t work, look in your history books fools.

Tony

February 25th, 2010
9:13 pm

Karen Handle is a typical BS politician. Has anyone ever met her? If you have what she wants, she treats you like a long lost sibling. If you don’t have what she wants, she’ll curse you out and then throw you under the bus in a NY second. Lay off thousands of state employees? How about stopping ‘ol Sonny’s stupid fish museum in his hometown? That’s 26 mill. we’d save right there.
How about if elected, she and the rest of our crooked politicians take no salary for a year to prove how much they love our state?
How about no tax breaks for anyone for a couple of years till we solve this problem? This woman is nothing more than more of the same corrupt old people we already have under the gold dome.
Play her off, Keyboard Cat! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J—aiyznGQ

BTW

February 25th, 2010
9:16 pm

Didn’t Perdue create more government? How about getting rid of the State Ethics Department. Those responsibilities (campaign disclosures) were under the Secretary of State until Perdue decided he wanted control of “Ethics” They haven’t found anyone guilty of unethical conduct–so they say. LOL

34

February 25th, 2010
9:20 pm

I wouldn’t give Handel too hard a time about not having a college degree. “W” went to Yale, and look how HE turned out…….

td

February 25th, 2010
9:31 pm

Move all the money from the Hope into the budget and stop all the other State scholarships. The state is only responsible for K-12 and if you can not afford to go to college then get a job and go part time or go into the military and off to Iraq with you.

Observor

February 25th, 2010
9:33 pm

Can’t say much for Karen Handel who I consider just to be a hack. However, don’t confuse the messenger with the message.

I’ve nothing against state employees, some of whom do excellent work. I have a brother and a mother who retired from the state. Both are hard workers but have told me about the dead wood working at the state both in the lower levels and in higher management. Just like in the private sector you got some hard workers, some crappy workers, and some crappy workers who got their jobs by politicking and are incompetent at their jobs. The difference is that in the private sector the weak eventually get weeded out and if they don’t then the business eventually gets weeded out of business. The problem is that in the public sector it really is hard to get rid of some of the dead wood and there is a good deal of entitlement mentality and reverse racism. My brother has an employee below him who sits at his desk all day long and looks outside. He does literally zero work and has a discrimination lawsuit against all his superiors and is part of a class action discrimination suit that needless to say is without merit. These kinds of dead wood people who who have that entitlement mentality need to go. I’m not talking about just black people who think they are owed govt jobs and who sue at any chance they to get money. I’m talking about the white ones too who are dead wood.

Observor

February 25th, 2010
9:39 pm

34,

W also gave us an economy that grew for 6 years and had record low interest rates and the lowest unemployment rate since ww 2. You can try to rewrite history but 15 months into his term this is Obama’s economy. 10 percent unemployment and a mountain of debt that it will take generations to pay off are the only thing Obama has thus far accomplished. But then I guess for the entire duration of his 1 term presidency Obama will spend the entire time blaming Bush and this supposed mess that Bush left. Got news for you Barrack. We didn’t have 10 % unemployment under Bush. Matter of fact not even close. And as far as debt what did Obama do? Well, he nearly quadrupled the spending that Bush was doing. This is what happens when you hire a community organizer whose only real talent is catchy slogans and good speeches and being one heck of a teleprompter reader.

Hpalm

February 25th, 2010
9:40 pm

I think some of the enthusiasm for eliminating state employees will subside once the proponents are subjected to 3 hour waits at DMV and other government staffed functions. It’s easy to call for eliminating working peoples’ jobs until you have to deal with the consequences that result once they depart.

godless heathen

February 25th, 2010
9:40 pm

Government is not supposed to be a jobs program. It’s supposed to serve the people, not the other way around.

After Department of Community Affairs (The only State Agency too important to take furlough days) I’d put about half of the EPD employees on the street. That agency has totally lost sight of its purpose.

Glenn

February 25th, 2010
9:41 pm

brandon: most state employees such as I have to work 2 jobs: one with the state, the other elsewhere. There are few that make $50k a year. I have 21 years of service to this state working with delinquent youth and I don’t even make $40k a year with a master’s degree. Many make less $ than I do. They keep this state operating.

34

February 25th, 2010
9:41 pm

I was referring to W having a college degree. I said nothing about his presidency.

Michael

February 25th, 2010
9:41 pm

If we could just get young men to stop committing crime we could save billions that we spend to arrest, prosecute, defend and incarcerate them. Really, some dope robbing Quicktrip of $200 is costing us thousands upon thousands per dope on the back end. (It also keeps me working as I am part of the legal industrial complex).

CC

February 25th, 2010
9:42 pm

Karen is correct. From the federal level down to the state, it is bloated with dead wood and needs to be elminated. No one likes it but tell that to the Annoited One in Washington who is driving our nation into bankruptcy and the states are struggling to stay balanced.

It is a fact.

Eye Opener

February 25th, 2010
9:44 pm

Visit this site to see how much state workers make. Search by agency or name of employee.
http://www.open.georgia.gov/sta/viewMain.aud;jsessionid=E012541A4F93189DA7BB9CB22EE6561A

RMW

February 25th, 2010
9:47 pm

Cry me a river, state employees. When times are tough, people get laid off. That’s reality. It happened to me in the private sector. I lived. NOTHING is guaranteed.

Hpalm

February 25th, 2010
9:48 pm

Godless Heathen said “Government is not supposed to be a jobs program. It’s supposed to serve the people, not the other way around.

After Department of Community Affairs (The only State Agency too important to take furlough days) I’d put about half of the EPD employees on the street. That agency has totally lost sight of its purpose.”

Heathen,
Who exactly is going to “serve the people” once you fire all your state employees?

Death Walker

February 25th, 2010
9:48 pm

Cut the state government by at least 40%. The government is far too large and provides far too much red tape bureaucracy. There is nothing simple, nothing effective and all processes are ridiculously cumbersome. It’s time to throw some Six Sigma sense into the government.

A...Blank

February 25th, 2010
9:56 pm

how about cut some jobs under the gold dome? I am a state employee with a Masters degree and make less than $40,000. I work 10 and 12 hours a day. I am not paid overtime. My insurance isn’t that great. My take home pay is less than when I started because insurance has gone up every year and haven’t had a raise in years…the last one was a 2% (like $15 on my check). And yet our state offices are filled with managers and directors making big dollars..and guess which jobs will be cut? the working guy.

@Glen

February 25th, 2010
9:58 pm

Sounds like you made some poor choices.

@A....Blank

February 25th, 2010
9:59 pm

Great ATL Guy

February 25th, 2010
10:02 pm

I hate to see anyone lose their job, but I’ve had to do it in my office, and it is a good way to get rid of dead weight. In this market, you have to bring significant bottom-line impact to your employer every day. If you expect a free ride in any sector, public or private, and especially in these times, you are thinking wrong. You should expect to carry the weight of 2-3 staff that 1 person carried in the early-mid 2000s.

Yep

February 25th, 2010
10:08 pm

Great ATL Guy: Well put.

buzzDawg

February 25th, 2010
10:08 pm

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money – Alexis de Tocqueville. The financial crisis presents an opportunity to do away with pork, to roll government back to its core essentials: public safety, roads, education and little else. We do away with Go Fish, equestrian projects, and government funded golf courses. We eliminate tax breaks which benefit only the governor to the tune of $100,000. To this end, we’ll need to strengthen ethics legislation and enforcement as it is a matter of public safety.

Not A Fan

February 25th, 2010
10:09 pm

I suggest someone see if she “walks the talk.” Did she furlough her own employees in the Secretary of State’s office when other state agencies had to? Actions speak louder than words.

td

February 25th, 2010
10:10 pm

The problem is the “deadwood” will not be the ones cut. The taxpayers will then be paying for unemployment, Medicaid and Food Stamps for the next 18 months. Now how much money are we saving the state?

Read this

February 25th, 2010
10:10 pm

Montrell

February 25th, 2010
10:19 pm

karen handel is a racist—she tried to disenfranchise African-Americans by taking away their right to vote. She will not get any of the African-American vote. She’s probably going to lay off mainly minorities and let white people keep their jobs. She has no chance to be governor.

Alex

February 25th, 2010
10:20 pm

Hard to have respect for someone running for Governor who could not finish high school – let alone, get a college degree. Karen is very shallow….probably the reason she keeps leaving jobs before the term expires. By the way, she gave plenty of jobs to her peeps when elected to be Secretary of State. Sounds like she was running a jobs program. Pure hypocrite! If she is the best Georgia has to offer, we are in trouble.

Ron

February 25th, 2010
10:25 pm

Smaller government is the only way to truely balance the budget. Smaller government will require lay offs. Reduce services, reduce entitlements, reduce taxes and have better state!

Stop subsidizing golf & camping fees.

Bruce

February 25th, 2010
10:27 pm

Sounds harsh, but today is not like it was yesterday. State employees are not exempt. There are offices full of state “workers” that are so incompetent, lazy and there for the benefits. Even worse, the Governor has no clue what they do, who they are or what function they are supposed to do. State gov’t. is way overstaffed; corporate America is the leanest it has been in years. It might not be attractive, but we all are cutting wherever we can, so why shouldn’t the state? How many state vehicles are there and we all know they are not needed. The “spend it or lose it” attitude of the budget has to go. Some of the top brass in government make more that the Governor! I suppose we will name a road after them when they retire. CUT positions in every area/every department of state government. Do more with less like the rest of us.

Bruce

February 25th, 2010
10:30 pm

Montrell, be careful when talking about minorities in state government…….you might be talking about white people. I’m black, but we dominate the payroll rosters in many divisions. Do some research before you play your trump card.

AAA

February 25th, 2010
10:31 pm

Too bad the Fulton County employees don’t fall into her plan. I sold my property in N Fulton 8 years ago and I still get tax bills from Fulton and now from the city of Milton. Absolute idiots.

Bobby

February 25th, 2010
10:35 pm

Over the years there have been numerous studies that have been conducted that have recommended cutting some of the boards at the Secretary of State office. When Karen Handel was Secretary of State she did not eliminate a SINGLE board. How about doing the correct thing and eliminate the unneeded FUNCTIONS of state government first before cutting employees???

If our officials would first look at what is really needed before announcing across the board cuts, then the number of employees would decline in an ordered and common sense manner. Across the board cuts like Handel’s are just plain stupid without first determining what FUNCTIONS need to be eliminated.

When you take Handel’s approach, as soon as the economy recovers employees are hired to staff FUNCTIONS that are not really needed.

Hey what do expect from some one that has not even had a college government course. Who elects this idiots???

Atl Resident

February 25th, 2010
10:36 pm

What the hell wrong with Handel? Before we do any more layoffs in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country, decrease your own damn salary and campaign donations to help this budget contsraint and if there should be a “quick” fix.

??

February 25th, 2010
10:38 pm

I’m a state employee and we’ve already laid off 10 percent of our workforce, taken furloughs amounting to 5 percent of our salary and cut to the bone. I work for a core agency.

Yes No Maybe

February 25th, 2010
10:41 pm

She thinks state government is a jobs program because that is how she approached it. A job for the governor’s favorite? Of course, Shawn Lagrua, you can be the “Inspector General” a job that I just made up! A job for my campaign adviser? Of course, Rob Simms, you will be the “Deputy Secretary of State.” What’s that major campaign contributor? You need a job? Ok Vincent Russo you will be the agency’s lawyer!

Bryan

February 25th, 2010
10:45 pm

Who here believes we need an asst. Principal for each grade 7-12? Does anyone remember when one person could handle the enire Jr. or sr. high school? Why these extra people? That is 4 salaries per Georgia school district that could be a savings. It would be awesome if they were accountable for their jobs!

td

February 25th, 2010
10:47 pm

Do not tell me about waste in Government Vs waste in the private sector. Sonny outsourced the IT functions of state government a little more than a year ago to IBM, Dell and AT&T. There is now a much larger bureaucracy than there ever was when IT was part of the state. Every time you turn around it is over and above the original contract. Now we find out that all the old state employees are going to be laid off by these agencies so they can shipped the jobs to India and make more profit. This company will end up fleecing the state for more than a billion dollars and not do as good a job as the former state employees. In the mean time a lot of good hard working Georgians will not have a job.

I am a conservative and believe in the most efficient government we can get but the agency I work for has reduced ts budget by 25% in the past eight years and it will not be able to serve the people with any more cuts because we all know the cuts will be made by getting rid of the people that actually do the work and the high money makers do nothings will not loose their jobs.

Great ATL Guy

February 25th, 2010
10:49 pm

Montrell playing the race card, which is typical for racist black folk with chips on their shoulders who don’t like whitey and blame others for their situation without taking responsibility for themselves. There is not a racist bone in Karen’s body, she has common sense values. Educated or not, she is speaking what everyone else is thinking…. if you don’t produce, you should be cut. If you are state employee with a master’s degree and whine about only making $40k, get a job elsewhere paying more that is commensurate with your education and experience, instead of whining about your state job. Sounds like you stay on with the state because it’s easy and comfortable.

Tax increases are unavoidable

February 25th, 2010
10:57 pm

I say raise the state income tax by $500 per person. With around 2,000,000 full time employed workers in the state of Georgia, that would make up for the $1,000,000,000,000 deficit.

In the great scheme of things, $500 a year is not a lot of money. Most people blow that on cigarettes and beer in a years time.

Michael

February 25th, 2010
10:59 pm

Everybody is quick to call for layoffs until it’s their own butt in the crosshairs. I think maybe small cuts could be made somewhere — I can’t say where — but I think making EVERYBODY shoulder the burden would be a lot more fair. What about a statewide sales tax increase of 1 cent on all non-grocery items? I’d rather do that than see more than 1,000 people put out of work.

If these politicians want to be serious about cutting jobs, why not explore a switch to a unicameral legislature? I get why Congress has two houses with different representation methods, but it makes no sense on a state level. Districts are about to be redrawn anyway, so it’s a good time to explore it. With such things as banning unwanted microchip implants being tackled, don’t you think we could get by with just one chamber of yahoos?

real fan

February 25th, 2010
10:59 pm

Wow you state employees are just waking up to whats coming . Out in the real jobs world , you know the producers . Weve been dealing with demand shortfalls and over taxing for quite some time. Most of us couldnt even imagine having sweet benefits like you with our income. Unfortunatrly the troth has run dry. And we cant afford any more feed . Time to take some of the hogs to slaughter.Dont even think about asking me for more money . My wifes been out of work for ten months and Im bearly making ends meet.

WR

February 25th, 2010
11:00 pm

Any one that says we should take the Hope money away is a complete idiot. The only reason that the GA Lottery was set up in the first place was to fund education. The money is used for GA Pre-K and the Hope and this should not change. This money can not be allocated to anything other than education under the state constitution. I think maybe it is time to change the requirements to get the Hope to a higher GPA as it seems like anyone can get a 3.0 these days. We should raise the GPA requirement to 3.5 to get the Hope coming out of high school and then have 3.0 in college to keep the Hope. There should also be some way to ensure that college students are staying on track to graduate in 4 years if they are getting the Hope

As fas as Handel goes, she is an idiot and her comments should take this into account. We are going to have to lay off some state workers to balance the budget and get us out of this situation. We should take some of the state money and start rounding up all of the illegal aliens here in the state and transport them to DC and put in the INS building and let them worry about them. I am tired of my state and federal tax dollars being spent on illegal aliens who do not have a right to be in this country. If one shows up at a hospial, we have to treat them but then call INS and have them deported.

We should also eliminate the ESL classes after 2nd grade. By that time, students should be able to speak English. One of the requirements to immigrate to this country should be that you can speak the English language. If you come here and you can not, pay for some courses and learn English. By doing this, I do not have to pay extra for someone who speaks multiple languages.

Tax increases are unavoidable

February 25th, 2010
11:05 pm

Another option is cut all state employees salaries enough to save $1B a year. No layoffs.

$100K+ = 20% pay cut
$50K-100K =15% pay cut
$25-$50K = 5% pay cut
<$25K no pay cut

If you can't get by on $40-$50K a year you are spending too much.

Chris

February 25th, 2010
11:16 pm

The State wouldn’t need to lay anybody off if the guys in the General Assembly didn’t provide so many special-interest tax breaks to their corporate cronies, even as the economy was sliding and revenue was declining. One way or another, the rest of us end up paying for those tax giveaways.

UGA Trained Teacher

February 25th, 2010
11:16 pm

Karen, last night you spoke to a lot of us teachers AND our relatives at the President’s Day dinner. We all vote and will remember this comment. Teachers have taken cuts in pay, increases in health insurance, lay offs, and furlough days. But, you still expect us to take what walks in the door and turn them into AP and Honor Graduates. You know administrators will not come back into the classroom; few would last 2 weeks. So, who is going to do all the work in the schools? What will happen to Education?

Pierce Randall

February 25th, 2010
11:31 pm

See, this is stupid. The federal government spends billions of dollars to stimulate hiring, and state governments turn around and lay off or fire employees. No matter where you sit on the political spectrum, that can’t make a lot of sense. I mean, just as a matter of efficiency, it’s less paperwork and menu costs to keep current jobs than to try to find new hires.

The Senate just passed this puny $15 billion jobs bill, mostly on a new hiring tax that many businesses say will not, in itself, stimulate hiring. I say that, instead, the federal government should offer to pay the payrolls of state workers who are in imminent danger of being laid off. That way, states like Georgia couldn’t game the system (like they’ve done with other stimulus funds, for instance) to pay for expensive tax cuts, and if they’re serious about firing workers for house-cleaning, they could just not take the state bailout funds.

To me, layoffs make less economic sense than tax cuts at a time when the state GDP is growing, but unemployment remains high. If you’re doing layoffs you should be doing anyway, that’s fine, but hike taxes before you end essential services. It makes more economic sense.

Keep it Real!

February 25th, 2010
11:42 pm

GreatAtlguy….I guess you have not heard their are plenty of peopl who have college degrees and cannot find any jobs!

I am amazed that so many are of you do not have any simpathy for our state employees! They do good work!

See Nepotism and croynism to family member, friends and big business has finally caught up with America and our Government. Why did Perdue and the Georgia State reps cut taxes when the state was growing?

Why do we continue to hire people in positions with a high salaries who are doing providing no actual benefit to the job?

Joan Andrews

February 25th, 2010
11:43 pm

Politicians are like a bunch of birds they eat everything in front of them and then leave there crap behind. She must be lost her mind… she lost my vote!

vuduchld

February 26th, 2010
12:06 am

I agree with Karen Handel 100 per cent. That’s why idiots like her and the other dimwitted pols who took up space in Jawja Guvmint the past decade should either fire themselves or run for something like latrine cleaner. Any citizen voting for any of these dumb monkeys should be lined up and shot

No Degree

February 26th, 2010
12:11 am

Karen Handel never went to college, and is slashing the budget for education and now wants to be governor? Get real karen–you don’t have a chance. Roy Barnes will win the election easily!!!

Anyone Notice

February 26th, 2010
12:33 am

people…we are lost. Most think that a vote fulfills our responsibility and that it along with complaining carries such power. Reality is, those who make the decisions, Perdue and the like, don’t listen because they don’t financially have to. Think about it…when you’re that rich, do you really care or know?

Cut state salaries…makes sense…but do they really suffer? Raise class size and cut teachers…but do they REALLY suffer?

The problem is us…we just complain…and vote elitists into office to say we satisfied our responsibility as an American. I say, it is us who are at fault. And i’ll start with blaming myself first.

So I ask all Georgians…what can we do to make our vote, our government be of the people? What can we do give ourselves tools and incentives for real people to take these leadership roles.

Don’t you think if one of us ‘common folk’ governed, we might have better governance? How do we make this happen? Or are we alas…lost.

Ted Davis

February 26th, 2010
1:01 am

It has always fascinated me just how quickly our elected officials suggest that the way to save a budget is to lay off the rank and file of public employees, yet I, for the life of me, can not remember any of them suggesting that their bloated staffs be trimmed or that their own ludicrously high salaries be reduced to save the budget.

These people are not dukes and earls, they are public servants and are still answerable to the electorate, regardless of their remonstrations to the contrary.

Handel's Elephant

February 26th, 2010
2:08 am

Will handel cut her salary or bloated, overpaid staff as a start???

Best and Brightest?

February 26th, 2010
6:09 am

This tripe from a jerk who didn’t furlough any of “her” employees while she was Secreatry of State….true, there are useless departments in the state, but who is got the nerve to pick which go and which stay? Such a shame that state employees are treated like crap these past few governor’s…

Bitter EX democrackkk

February 26th, 2010
6:18 am

Cutting 1000 employess is a great start in the bloated state government!

In NC, they are about to cut 2000-3000 state employee jobs, and NC is WAY more democrackkk controlled than Jawja…NC has their FIRST FEMALE governess who is a total WASTE of any leadership and she is a huge ShamBama insider….democrackkks are EVIL people.

Grit

February 26th, 2010
6:37 am

RAY MCBERRY says to do away with property tax, state income tax and have a state sales tax. That way not just the tax payers pay the bill but the freeloaders and illegals have to pay also. Go
to georgiafirst.org and check him out.

TheReaper

February 26th, 2010
6:38 am

You slash-and-burn folks are going to get your wish. Looks like upwards of 5000 layoffs at the state level not including safety and education. In higher education, over $350M in cuts coming to the system. That’s approx. 18% of the total system budget. Look for 100’s if not 1000’s of layoffs in higher-ed as well.

Grit

February 26th, 2010
6:49 am

Since degrees seem to be important to some of you, have you checked to see which of the seven republicans has a Masters degree? The only one that has a masters degree is RAY MCBERRY.

State Employee

February 26th, 2010
6:53 am

It’s funny to me that everyone who commented to layoff the “lazy” stateworkers are of the private sector. I was once a private sector employee and I was laid off twice from the private sector. I once thought as you did that state employees were lazy, overpaid, received great benefits, crazy holiday days off, everything that the private sector thinks that state employees receive. Well……..I can honestly tell you that is ALL a lie!!! I work for a great agency and every person in my department bust their butt EVERYDAY. I went from 50K in private sector to and being laid off to 37K in public. Whew…what a windfall..right? I went from having ALL of my benefits paid to paying for my benefits and having those premiums rise every year. I went from getting a raise every year and a cost of living raise every 6 months to not seeing a raise in the years I have worked for the state.

I can understand the frustration the private sector has towards state employees BUT before you jump on the bandwagon to burn the state employee at the stake please remember that the state employee is a taxpayer just like you; just because we work for the state doesn’t make us exempt from taxes. Some of us are the supporting spouses and partners who have been laid off and their income is the only one coming into the home or what’s left of it. The state employees are not the problem, it is the people the voters elected to run this state. I have met our governor, he is a nice man but he is not a leader and unfortunatley THE STATE of GEORGIA has suffered. How about the people of Georgia make a real difference this election year and elect a person who is qualified to run this state. But eliminating jobs that you as the private sector do not deem important will not only hurt the employee that was laid off but it will also hurt you. Remember it only seems like we are doing nothing, just wait when there is no one there to your call, then you will be saying “where is everyone, why can’t you hire more people.”

CT in CP

February 26th, 2010
6:56 am

First, Karen Handel received her High School diploma and has completed some college. She left an abusive household at age 17, got an apartment and a job and completed high school anyway. She left college to be a part of the Bush/Quail administration.

Second, despite her lack of a college degree, Karen Handel is smarter than anyone else in the field. I am a complete education snob. I was a National Merit Scholar and graduated from a top 20 law school. My wife is a professor. I heard Karen Handel speak recently about her plan for tax incentives for financial angels in the life sciences area. My head hurt from trying to grasp the concepts.

Finally, she’s the only Republican who can beat Roy Barnes. Do you really want to go back to that?

Jim Jr

February 26th, 2010
6:59 am

Anyone who has got to a state office to handle any kind of business, Drivers License, Taxes, Voting, etc. can see the state employees standing around and watching others work — while you wait. Cutting ALL state agencies by 10% would help the budget and send a message to those retained.

timid tim

February 26th, 2010
7:02 am

This recession is the “new normal”? She will be proven right if she is allowed to cut the rest of our state’s critical services like she did at the secretary of state. Does this woman know nothing about economics, about economic cycles? If we act prudently, this low cycle will soon be over. If Georgia votes this lady into office we will get nothing more than publicity stunts like this one.

David

February 26th, 2010
7:15 am

Dear America,

All government workers are lazy and worthless! All government spending is wasted and needs to be eliminated! Except of course for the money spent to repair that pothole on my street, to take away my trash every week, to provide HOPE scholarships for my child, to provide me with quick police and fire protection, to give me a tax deduction on my mortgage interest, to provide emergency loans and other assistance when my house is flooded or gets hit by a tornado, to make sure the food I eat isn’t tainted with salmonella, to ensure I can get vaccinated against the flu each year, to answer my phone call when I need to complain about my neighbor not cutting his grass for three months, etc. That’s money well spent and God bless those government workers. But eliminate everything else!

Sincerely,
A teabagger

Sally

February 26th, 2010
7:19 am

Handel, like so many Republicans, is demonstrating her lack of understanding of basic math. Every time a worker is laid off or fired money is stolen from the economy and from citizens.

Many of the problems our state, much like our nation, is facing are caused by lack of tax revenue because there are so many unemployed people in the state and being unemployed means having no income which means paying no income tax and thus cutting revenue while increasing expenses by living at the state expense off of unemployment and food stamps which don’t allow enough money for these same people to participate in the economy by purchasing cars or restaurant food or going to Braves games.

If the state is going to support these folks anyway, isn’t it better to have them working than sitting at home starving to death on unemployment. More unemployment will make things worse not better.

TheReaper

February 26th, 2010
7:23 am

@Jim Jr, thanks for enlightening us with your huge data sample that is made of of “Jim Jr’s observations.”

Grit

February 26th, 2010
7:30 am

Jim jr, again as long as you go and look at those that are standing around and not working and get rid of them. That will work but is not politically correct. It will not happen, you’ll wind up getting rid of working people in order to keep those that think that they are entitled.

Pamela

February 26th, 2010
7:33 am

This is the reason why I will NEVER vote Republican!!! You will NEVER get my vote!!!! They really don’t care about anyone..first of all MOST State employees do not get paid much and the little they do get paid you want to lay them off??? No you need to find another way! Start by trimming YOUR pay Handle!!!! and your staff pay!!!! Then work your way down!

Registered Voter...

February 26th, 2010
7:36 am

HANDEL YOU WILL NOT GET MY VOTE!!!! VOTE ROY BARNES EVERYONE!!! IF YOU DON’T YOU WILL GET MORE OF THE SAME..WE ALL KNOW THAT OXENDINE IS A CROOK…DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN HE USED OUR TAX DOLLARS TO PURCHASE A BRAND NEW EXPENSIVE VEHICLE AND AFTER HE GOT CAUGHT DID HE PAY THE MONEY BACK TO THE STATE? YEAH I REMEMBER!!! YOU CAN GOOGLE IT AND GET THE STORY…IT’S TRUE..SO HE WON’T GET MY VOTE EITHER!!! IF HE NEVER GOT CAUGHT THEN TRUST AND BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY HE NEVER WOULD HAVE PAID THE $ BACK TO THE STATE (TAXPAYERS)!!!

Whacks Eloquent

February 26th, 2010
7:39 am

I will withhold criticism until I see which positions she plans to focus on cutting. But here is a hint from the Insider blog:
–Reorganize agencies to reduce management layers and achieve supervisor/ employee ratio of 8 or 9 employees to 1 supervisor. Too often employees are promoted to supervisor or manager positions because of length of service rather than a reflection of management responsibilities.

My wife used to work for DFACS. She told me that there are literally dozens of levels of bureaucracy there. Why? They do such a marvelous job! Seriously, there are lots of hard-working front end workers in that organization, but the managers from all I have seen and hear are cover-their-arses, lazy, good-for-nuthins. They put in their time on the front lines and now think they are entitled to a cushy job where they can suck back the taxpayer salary without any serious responsibilities. If Ms. Handel proposes focusing the cuts on leaches like these, I will be in full support. If she goes after the little guy, front end workers who make the government work, then she should be lambasted.

Retired State Employee

February 26th, 2010
7:39 am

To Nougat and Brandon – your lack of sense amazes me. I retired from DFCS this year. While working, we saw person after person leave and their positions not filled. This has been going on in DFCS for YEARS. The people left to do the work are absolutely about to go under both physically and mentally. These are the ones who determine medicaid and food stamp eligibility for all those who have already lost their jobs or barely make enough to survive. And the “department heads” are standing over them threatening them if they make an error in their work. Are they nuts? You can’t expect a person to do the work of three and that is what is happening. And, how about checking out DFCS salaries at http://www.opengeorgia.gov. You will see that DFCS employees are the lowest paid employees of any state agency. Well, except for those in the golden towers at the state office. Their salaries will make you throw up. As for blaming state employees and feeling they should be the ones taking the axe – this is ridiculous. They were hired to do a job just like anyone else and many have made a career out of this. I would challenge anyone out there who thinks a state job is a pie job to take on a food stamp/medicaid caseload for two months and see how you like it. And, as usual, these rants are amazingly from non teachers. Again, they are protected. How about doubling up on class size and eliminating waste there? If you can triple caseloads, to be sure teachers can take on a few more students? And, by the way, the only retirement new state employees have now is a 401K, compliments of the legislature. Teachers, however, still get the “golden parachute” retirement of 60% of their salary. Where is the fairness in this? Sure, govt is bloated. But, govt still expects services to be given out to the non taxpaying citizens while cutting the jobs of taxpaying workers. Go figure.

mojo

February 26th, 2010
7:47 am

As a state DOT worker I must say we’re tired of the B.S. lay us off, your taking money from us anyway, making us take days off without pay,we work 10 hours aday then when have to take the day off without pay, you take 8 hours and make sign out for 2 hours of our leave time, holidays even though we work 10 hours a day you pay us for 8 and take 2 hours of our leave, no overtime pay,go up on our insuarnce every damn year, but yet, we have not had a cost of living raise in 4 years now, SO! please lay some of us off,, WE WANT IT, we have to clean restrooms at rest areas where people (THE TRAVLEING PUBLIC CANNOT EVEN USE THE TOTILE RIGHT THEY CRAP ON THE FLOOR,OR THE LID)

A Realist

February 26th, 2010
7:51 am

Karen, you’re on the right track…….as in all (that’s right, I said ALL) businesses, and make no mistake, the Georgia State Government is a Business, there are employees that don’t do a whole lot to get that paycheck, there are employees that are there because they’re being protected and there are employees there that absolutely don’t have a clue as to what they’re doing. The managers of each department in state government know who these employees are (some of them might even be managers) and all of you out there who work for companies know this to be the truth. These are the employees who should be let go to help balance the state budget. I know, all you bleeding heart, liberal democrats out there will say….”these people need their jobs, they have families, they have to eat, etc., etc.”…….and to this I say, I hate to see anyone lose their jobs but, if you work for someone, you have to “Take Care Of Your Job”, i. e., do what you’re being paid to do. As to Karen Handel not having a college degree, there are a large number of degreed folks that wasted their time going to college so the point is moot. I’d rather have someone in that office that has a whole lot of common sense than some college educated idiot lawyer.

Snidely Whiplash

February 26th, 2010
7:56 am

Two choices. Pay cuts or lay offs. The guv’ment worker whose answer is ‘neither, raise taxes’ is a blood sucker of the worst kind. Out in the private sector when a worker is faced with a pay cut or lay off, the answer does not lie with raising taxes, nor is it acceptable to the consumer to raise the price of goods and services in order to save jobs. Ahh, but some of the guv’ment slugs that survive off the taxpayer teat have the answer. Raise taxes on the people that can least afford to have their taxes raised. Those 20-30 million coast to coast that have LOST their jobs and now the guv’ment worker says, ‘Too bad for you. Raise your taxes to fund my paycheck, even if it means YOU lose yours, I GET mine..” Selfish and useless, easily 50% of the modern day state and federal goverment workers.

StateWorker'sHusband

February 26th, 2010
7:57 am

You would be doing my wife a HUGE FAVOR by firing her. Then she could put that degree and dedication to REAL use by going and make some REAL money, rather than:

-Constantly, taking furlough days.

-WORKING on her furlough days just to keep up with her caseload admin and ensure these CHILDREN are getting the sercives they need.

-Inconveniencing ME by having to drop her off and pick her up on weekends so that she can go get a RENTAL CAR to drive all around North Central Georgia visiting cases and transporting children to and from foster visits and group homes.. ON A SATURDAY! And continually having her mileage reimbursment cut.

-Getting called out of the house to go out the “BFE” Georgia at 1am in the morning to receive a child into care during her 6 week oncall rotation because the parent decided they wanted to scald the child..or molest them.

Sonny…(and Karen).. THE STINKIN’ $29,000 A YEAR SALARY YOU PAY MY WIFE TO DO ALL THESE THINGS FOR YOU WOULD BE BETTER SERVED UP YOUR REAR ENDS THAN IT WOULD MY HOUSEHOLD FOR THE WORK SHE DOES FOR YOU. Firing her would be JUST the motivation she needs to give her skills to an employer who better appreciates and deserves them.

So make my day!

Anne

February 26th, 2010
7:59 am

Brandon, hope you never have to draw unemployment , or better yet are you expecting a state refund check???? Guess what idiot state employees do those functions.

The Mic

February 26th, 2010
8:01 am

I agree with Ms. Handel, lets eliminate 1000 state government jobs, starting at the Gold Dome. Wait a minute, if we eliminate uncle Sonny and all his cronies, that would leave us with a surplus. What on earth would we do with all of that money? Just say NO to Karen Handel!

State Employee

February 26th, 2010
8:03 am

I have been working for the State for over 30 years and know many very, very hard working folks—and also those who barely work. Probably the same is true for the private sector. I have also seen the Governor’s Office staff just explode under the current administration, including the creation of new departments (Customer Service? come on). Why not do what the private sector and municipaities do and look at early retirement plans?

doubledawg

February 26th, 2010
8:12 am

I’ve worked for the state for a little over 5 years, and I saw the writing on the wall two years ago. Thank God for Dave Ramsey – I now have very little debt and a savings that can sustain me while I start my own business. Oh, and I work 10+ hour days as a lawyer for a state agency that delivers core services to GA citizens. I don’t appreciate any executive secretary with a GED likening what I do to a “jobs program.” She couldn’t even operate the Secretary of State’s office at a mediocre level.

Independent

February 26th, 2010
8:13 am

Works for me. You could put 10%-20% of the bureaucrats on the street and government would function just fine.

Get Real Again

February 26th, 2010
8:16 am

The broad amount of misinformation is staggering. Is there waste in state government with respect to employees? Yes, there is as in any organization, pubic or private but remember the 80/20 rule. I work for the state, I don’t get state retirement or health insurance and my position is not funded by state general funds. We have had layoffs, furloughs, eliminated positions and have had to more with less for a long long time. I have also worked for the private sector. I have had the pleasure to work with many state employees across agencies and I can tell you without doubt that most state employees are honest hard working people who are dedicated to their jobs and the citizens they serve. At our agency, we operate much like the private sector, we have clear performance standards that often exceed the private sector and we are held absolutley accountable for results. State employee salaries, including mine lag the private sector by 30% or more and it will only get worse. Remember the rule, “you get what you pay for” well, if you want effective lean government, then you have to be willing to pay.

Those of you, including Ms. Handel who think simply slashing 1,000 jobs from state government is the answer are living in a dream world. Many agencies have already cut to the quick. You would be the first people to complain when your wait time of the phone is too long or it takes to long to process your welfare applications or lines get bad at the DMV or a state park facility is not up to your standards. There is a reason Georgia has been rated nationally as having some of the best service in the country and that is because our governor recognized the need and the obligation of government to give the best customer service possible. That means infrastructure like systems and process and of course people.

Is there waste and inefficiency, yes and it needs to stop and the deadwood needs to go without doubt. At our organization, we are doing exactly that and we know that others agencies are as well. I do think that the salaries of some high level state employees are appalling.

I can’t speak for Ms. Handel’s ability to govern but I know this, she should be judged by her performance and record. let her actions, policies and related results speak for themselves. Whether or not she has a GED, high school diploma or college degree does not matter at this point. I do not mean to minimize the value of higher education but there are millions of stupid people out there with college degrees and advanced degrees who can’t tie their shoes.

GoKaren

February 26th, 2010
8:21 am

February 26th, 2010
7:52 am

I read her press release. No where does it say an across the board 10% cut. You will also notice that she talks about zero based budgeting for all agencies. By implementing zero based budgeting you gain an understanding of what services the agencies are providing in every department. You can then consolidate or remove non-essential services. This leads to smaller government, and provides you with targeted cuts. Unlike others, she has already done it as Secretary of State.

I say a quote from her asking why does every agency need an HR department? Great question.

Real job growth happens in the private sector, not by larger government. She has also announced a program to grow small business.

Steve

February 26th, 2010
8:23 am

@ ITK, I think that layoffs are unavoidable. Like Handel says, government; state or federal, shouldn’t be a jobs program. In my opinion, this is just one more area where government employment is a synonym for a handout. Would you prefer to raise the taxes on “all those rich people, they got all that money and you know dang well they never worked for it.” Give me a break….

Trey

February 26th, 2010
8:27 am

I do love some of the gravy train ideas being shared here:
“everybody take a pay cut to make up the short fall” or “raise taxes by $500, it’s not that much…”
I really love that the state may start adhering to business modules and starting to decrease their loss. No job is safe. Not a government job, not a teaching job, machine worker or entrepreneur.
You can’t spend more than you make, regardless of if you’re the Smith family, State of Georgia or federal government.
Lay off people, make hard choices. You are in elected office to govern. Quit playing favorites and play by the numbers, not by the emotions or the votes.

Kerry Skelton

February 26th, 2010
8:31 am

This is for Sad State of Affairs. I am not a goverment employee and my company has no Union but have laid off over a 1000 people in the past year and sent many of those jobs over seas. Not because of a Union but because they will do the job for pretty much a third of what someone over hear will do it for. Correct me if I am wrong but the Private Sector greed is what got us into this mess to begin with with the help of the Mighty BUSH (worst president in history). Lets just let Private Sector run them selves and it will be Enron at every company.

Mr. E

February 26th, 2010
8:32 am

Another Dumb Republican idea!!!! what about all the unemployment and cobra payments that the state will be forced to pay?

Ann

February 26th, 2010
8:36 am

If handle wants to layoff thousands – she needs to understand that TEACHERS are STATE EMPLOYEES TOO AND SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS WELL!! No one person or position is better than another when it comes to layoffs. She is self-centered and cannot understand empathy – perhaps due to her not having children and having to make sacrifices as most parents do. She IS abrasive and heartless. As a quitter of one job, why would anyone elect her to run a state…are you kidding us !!!!

Bill

February 26th, 2010
8:37 am

We can lay off thousands of these gov’t “workers” and not miss a beat. After 50 years of living in this state I have had enough of paying for their lack of service, over abundance of whining, and delivery of next to nothing. Let them go, not needed

End the gov’t worker welfare state

Bob

February 26th, 2010
8:38 am

Yeah, let’s continue to balance the budget on the backs of the state employees. I agree that some deapartments could stand to be cut or done away with, but for the people whose job it is to protect us and the environment, more cuts and no raises for several years now is not the way to go. Especially when the folks in charge, Governor, are afraid of the teachers union and will absolutely not cut anything in regard to teachers. Tax is a dirty word for most of us, but some things are necessary and have to be paid for by taxes.

Responsibility

February 26th, 2010
8:40 am

The government does not create jobs the private sector creates jobs. We should grow the private sector and shrink ALL levels of the government sector. The private sector cannot raise prices and not cut jobs, what gives the government the right to raise taxes? If you are a government worker and don’t like this then find another line of work. It is a FREE country and not your RIGHT to have a job, it takes effort in the individual.

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
8:42 am

This is PRECISELY the type of govt we need. GOVT workers are basically lazy and most should be fired! I welcome more of these ideas from Ms Handel and will be forwarding some campaign contributions to her in hopes of her election.

Audit ALL govt depts and FIRE everyone necessary…do it NOW!

My Boogers in your hair

February 26th, 2010
8:45 am

Thank you Ms Handel for some long awaited common sense. Our leaders in this State in DC are basically cluelees. O-Dumb-dumb, Peloshyt, Reem and the dummycrats have wasted over a year on this O-Dumb-dumbCare with NOTHING to show for it.

The time for talk is over.

My Boogers in your hair

February 26th, 2010
8:46 am

StateWorker’sHusband

SHUT UP!

Marcus Graham

February 26th, 2010
8:47 am

DIDN’T COMPLETE COLLEGE…DIDN’T COMPLETE TERM AS SECRETARY OF STATE—-I SEE A PATTERN HERE.

My Boogers in your hair

February 26th, 2010
8:53 am

Marky…Most college graduates are fairly stupid. A college degree does not an employable person make.

Whacks Eloquent

February 26th, 2010
8:53 am

An example of how we can slim down Georgia’s gov’t without hurting the productive workers:
Two agencies – Division of Public Health – restaurant health scores, etc.
Dep’t of Family and Childrens Services – DFACS – child safety and welfare
What do they have in common?
Both under the same main department – DHR
That’s Department of Human Resources
huh?
Shouldn’t they be focused on hiring and benefits for the state?
Why are they overseeing these two totally unrelated agencies?
How many fools are we paying six-figure salaries to somehow run these agencies together?
Trim out the fat, it will actually help the government run better…

Poor State Saps

February 26th, 2010
8:58 am

Oh woe is me say the ’state workers’. The government is way too big and needs to be downsized about 90%. Yes fire as many state workers as possible. It takes an average of 4 people to do a state job as it does in the ‘real world’. Most state morkers are simply living off the hard work of others in the private sector. Look at how long it takes to get anything done. The only people who will have jobs in the future are those with REAL skills like technology workers, programmers and systems engineers who can automate the jobs that are being used to fund the welfare state of third rate, lazy, PsOS called state workers. Get rid of them, ALL of them.

And to Chris: without these corporattions, which shouldn’t pay a dime of tax anyway, you’d be homeless, as would the rest of the state. It’s high time these so called state workers got back into the real world, got a decent edication and/or updated their ‘ancient’ skills so they can actually be productive.

And on a final note, ALL welfare should be summarily eliminated. This would create a HUGE surplus in the state budget overnight. I’m sick and tired of all the whining and complaining from crack-smoking, baby spitting, sitting on their arse welfare mothers who do nothing to contribute to society but take up room and devalue everythign around them with their leachery.

Vote Poythress

February 26th, 2010
8:59 am

Please at least consider voting for David Poythress. At least research him before you make up your mind between the top runners and all of thier problems.

Why hold your nose and vote for someone you hate less? You could vote for a moderate with a great resume.

Marcus Graham

February 26th, 2010
9:00 am

It means she is a quitter!

Baby mama

February 26th, 2010
9:01 am

Wut my babee gonna do wifout mystate job. Yall all mean spirited and unfair. jux causw i had a kicd who daddy in jial dont make right foe yall to be on my bakc. duh govahmint help alot for me an my cuzon.

yallshut up.

Independent

February 26th, 2010
9:04 am

Hey Furloughed…you said “State employees guard prisoners from attacking your family, they educate your children, they protect you on the highways and they protect children from abusive parents. Who wants to do away with these services?”

I have enough firearms, a CC license and enough training and experience to adequately protect my family and myself. Attacking my family will result in return fire at a higher rate. My 12 yo daughter and 14 yo son have had adequate range time to handle all our weapons. Your problem 1 not so problematic to us.

Our home schooled kids don’t really need the educators telling them everyone is a winner, life is about fairness, zero tolerance policies, etc etc etc ad nauseum. Problem 2 solved for me.

Nothing against state troopers, they are fine folks, but they don’t really protect you on the highways. Their presence slows people down and they catch drunks, but drunks mostly kill themselves. I’m will to accept that risk. Problem 3 solved.

My kids and neither are our neighbors’ abused so your Problem 4 is n/a to me. Probably the most abusive thing I did to my kids was take them to the torture museum in Amsterdam.

Latrina

February 26th, 2010
9:04 am

Does Kasim Reed know about this? Im forwarding this malicious article to his office. Kasim will NOT allow this to happen.

Citizen

February 26th, 2010
9:04 am

Well it’s about damn time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Government workers have always got a free ride and it’s time that they realize they are no better than anyone else!!!

Finally

February 26th, 2010
9:04 am

Finally we have someone who realizes that there is too much tax payer $$$ going to un-needed and overpaid government employees – some of these departments we have are a joke – how about also looking into the DOT – just the other day I say 8 DOT guys hanging one very small street sign – what a waste -

Change in Georgia

February 26th, 2010
9:04 am

Handel need to be laidoff and the rest of the republican.
I got a idea want Karen and Purdue get pay cut.

outsource as much as possible

February 26th, 2010
9:06 am

Do like successful companies do, outsource non core. The state could do BPO in areas of finance, billing, collections, HR and outsource the entire IT dept. What you have now is a jobs program..OF couse if you layoff all those people you will end up costing your self more because you will be paying out more in assisstance as most of the at risk state workers are not qualified to get another job.

Poor State Saps

February 26th, 2010
9:07 am

@Mr. E

Sorry Mr. E, the state has ZERO business in the welfare business. Unemployment is supposed to be insurance paid into by the company that originally employed the worker. The state should have Nothing to do with it at all, i.e. Zero expense. Of course, they just have to muck everything up by hand-holding those who are too stupid and/or lazy to figure out how to write a resume and get off their A$$ to find a job. NO food stamps, no welfare, no government other than defense.

AND…the state has ZERO authority to have anytign to do with ‘edumacation’. UNions should be outlawed and ALL education should be privatized for maximal effectiveness and efficiency. Teachers (collectively) are the BIGGEST leeches in existence behind Congress. Kids are out of control, are NOT learning. THe government needs to get out of the way and ALL schooling should be privatized and require tuition. DOn’t bother with “but some people can’t afford it”. If they state stopped taxing everyones’ property for the supposed purpose of paying for schooling AND we all paid less taxes for the things we buy and the so-called ’services’ we’re NOT getting, the vast majority of the population would easily be able to afford the tuition..AND it’s be cheap since REAL competition, in the open market would create more schools, a higher level of quality and overall lower prices.

Poor State Saps

February 26th, 2010
9:08 am

@Baby mama

Dat, beez hill ay rus.

Kathy

February 26th, 2010
9:09 am

I’m glad she came out & said this now…she can kiss her run at the Governor’s office goodbye.

Latrina

February 26th, 2010
9:09 am

Yall all going to H E L L. I just got off the phone with KASIM REED and he say this will never happen because he is in control and wont let it happen.

HA!

Whacks Eloquent

February 26th, 2010
9:12 am

Poythress does not stand a chance in the primary against the corrupt lawyer former Gov Barnes. Too bad really, Poythress and Porter and I’m sure a few others would make much better govs than Ol’ Roy! But money talks and BS holds office!

Whacks Eloquent

February 26th, 2010
9:13 am

Kasim Reed would be a much better gov than Roy Barnes…

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
9:14 am

What colors of lipstick will Roy-Boy-George be wearing for his upcoming campaign?

gretchen

February 26th, 2010
9:14 am

Is it true that Sonny takes a helicopter to work everyday from the Gov. Mansion? I hear that the area around the capital needs to be cleared to land that thing daily.

If that’s true, how can THAT not be seen as overboard?

William

February 26th, 2010
9:18 am

I have performed work for the state in the past and am a firm believer that most of the state employees should have been fired years ago. I am sick of hearing how they have to take a furlough day here and there while the rest of us are struggling just to find a job that will put food on the table. Fire the whiners and take their retirement too.

a tired of it all gubmint worker

February 26th, 2010
9:21 am

Great idea Karen, but let’s use drug testing to “weed” out those that we don’t need. And while we are “weeding” out the state payroll, let’s go ahead and randomly drug test all recipients of government checks.

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

February 26th, 2010
9:24 am

Eliminating positions, downsizing, laying off, resizing. Buzz words for firing people who will not find other jobs in this economy but may make government numbers look better. Isn’t the government’s business to help us, not the other way around? How is the economy going to get better when more and more people are losing jobs which equals losing income which equals lowered spending which equals continued economic problems.? Screw the balanced budget proponents for now; on one is going to foreclose on the national and state governments as they made themselves exempt. The regular citizens need help which starts with letting those of them who still have jobs keep them. What about lowering the governor’s and other elected officials’ salaries and giving them benefits more in line with their constituents’? And redesigning their state funded retirement packages?

Finally

February 26th, 2010
9:24 am

End welfare – make all schools private and tuition based – no more school busses and no more school tax (largest property tax you pay) – stop rewarding baby momma’s that squirt out 5-10 babies just too collect more welfare, SSI and food stamps – and audit all government on the spending they do – they need to quit taking trips and meals on the tax payers dollar!

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
9:26 am

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

LOL…complete lack of logic. I bet you voted for O-Dumb-dumb.

potstirrer

February 26th, 2010
9:26 am

I concur with Jack. First STOP paying for illegal immigrant healthcare!
Heavens know how much we could save. 2nd- raise the sin taxes for a SET period of time to help the budget. Three-Pass medical cannabis then TAX IT!! Fourth DON”E ELECT HANDLE SHE DANGEROUS!!!

Frank

February 26th, 2010
9:33 am

Every Business and Industry manages to do and deliver more with less…except the Governmanet. Year in and Year out the Government delivers Less with More employees…

Reduce the size of the Payrolls and this will force a serious look at what are State priorities and what are simply Value added…

I feel for those that will loose their Job but it is a Govenment Job and the Citizens are the employer. All Govenment employess should be able to transition those skills into the Private Sector.

a taxpayer

February 26th, 2010
9:33 am

The State is very ineffecient. Just like any organization, they should identify and get rid of nonperformers. More than any organization I’ve ever seen, it is common to have 10 employees in a group and only 3 of them actually do any work – and the 3 performers are likely to be temps/contractors.

The state often hires subpar workers because they won’t pay enough to get a real performer. Do they really think that hiring 2 ‘duds’ at 50K is better than hiring one star at 80K? Do the math.

The state easily has 1000 employees that could be terminated without much of a disruption in actual service though I doubt they’ll actually get rid of the ones that should be let go (they’ll fail at that too).

Thomas Eagle

February 26th, 2010
9:39 am

Karen Handel is a hypocrite. She “justified” exempting state employees from furloughs in her own office while all others were donating part of their salaries to keep state government afloat. Anyone who’s worked with the state of Georgia knows where the fat is….central and regional office employees, many who are political appointees, and who are paid far more than they’re worth. How many of these positions are being cut?

how2fish

February 26th, 2010
9:42 am

First we should cut those costs we can before layoffs..how much would we save if we fixed the illegal alien problem that is taxing our system at every turn..as far as that being enough I doubt we can avoid some layoffs..but we need tax revenues and putting more folks on the unemployment rolls is short sighted to say the least. But I work for one of those evil corporations and if we have cut the number of jobs we have..I have few tears to shed for government workers who my tax dollars support.

potstirrer

February 26th, 2010
9:45 am

LINE VETO IS NEEDED!!
Would some one PLEASE TELL ME HOW IMPOTANT the
AFRICAN AMERICAN GOLF FOUNDATION is to the Gov’s OFFICE??
THey spent 85K on this last year??? WTFO?????????????

potstirrer

February 26th, 2010
9:47 am

HELLO its not the state employees, its many of the contracts, backroom deals that happen. A GOOD EXAMPLE “AFRICAN AMERICAN GOLF FOUNDATION”
how important is this to state government??????
Get TIGER to fund this GOD KNOWS he need the good PR!!!!!!!!!

Mr. Grumpy

February 26th, 2010
9:47 am

Boy, Karen Handel’s a real thinker, but let’s go a step further. So, let’s just fire 50% of state workers — across the board. Yeah, 50% of every agency, including law enforcement. Yeah ! Of course, when there are half as many state troopers, parole officers, probation officers, correctional officers, child caseworkers, and your neighborhoods are being invaded by one thug after another, that’ll be alright won’t it? I mean, after all, look at all the money we saved. Yeah, let’s vote for Karen because she’s got the right ideas. Slash and burn. What the H#ll.

Mr. Grumpy

February 26th, 2010
9:52 am

Hey, FINALLY, Karen could make you her Director of her Office of Planning and Budget. You sound like you’ve got a real good head on your shoulders for numbers. Slash and burn…just slash and burn. What the H#ll !!!

Think before you speak

February 26th, 2010
9:52 am

Too Poor State Saps: Your comments show that you know nothing about the state worker so you shouldn’t comment on something you know nothing about. Granted there are some workers who are lazy, uneducated and see this job for nothing more than a paycheck. However for every one of them there are many workers who are educated in fact have college degrees, are hard working, pay taxes, and take the duties of their jobs very seriously. And you find most of these people in the so called rank and file servicing the people every single day, staying late, giving this state thousands of hours of unpaid overtime, driving their own cars using their own gas, risking their health lives to service their community ensuring that people get the help they need. And then have an additional sometimes even two jobs on top of that. I happen to be one of those many and I have taken my share of furloughs and increases in my insurance and have taken it in stride still come to work do my job every day. And I have done it for eight years and will continue to do it until I move on. Be careful what you wish for because Karen Handel like most Republicans does not give a damn about you unless you are in her circle of cronies. Easy for her to slash jobs and trust me she won’t touch her department or any appointments of her friends she’s going to straight for the rank and file. For every welfare king/queen(yes men abuse the system too) there are five people that are on hard times through no fault of their own because of layoffs, disability, etc. When the rank and file who are charged with providing these services are eliminated what then? Of course people like yourself find it very easy to demand the same level of service will advocating continously cutting of resources needed to provide those services as you never have had a need for them. So worse case scenario you find yourself in the same boat and you can’t get it…what then? Will you count on your elected officials to provide the services because I can assure you Karen Handel is not about to roll up her sleeves work cases, take applications for assistance, or teach children that might take a swing at her when she tries to keep them from disrupting the class…. shes much too good for that. Will Perdues 26 million dollar fishery help how about those top dogs in the state making more than 45K a year? Consider that before you jump on the bandwagon swinging the axe.

an inside view

February 26th, 2010
10:01 am

Why don’t we drug test all state workers initially (and then randomly) as a way to make the cuts? A very few already are drug tested due to CDL requirements and it does result in firings, not layoffs with all the benefits. The drug testing could then be expanded to anyone who recieves a check from the government.

DN

February 26th, 2010
10:01 am

I am disturbed that AJC presents this as a “Handel thing” in the headline. It seems biased and sensational. The article lacks detail and appears to be written in a hurry. I would like better reporting about this important subject.

kt

February 26th, 2010
10:11 am

Ray McBerry for Governor. He’s the only REAL choice.

M

February 26th, 2010
10:15 am

Finally a politician who understands that government is the problem! In general, government employment is another form of welfare, but much worse. With government employees, the taxpayers are stuck paying them a lifetime of salary, benefits and pension. Government employees produce no goods or services of value, and most are hard pressed to be hired by the private sector because they can’t produce anything of value. Thank you Karen Handel for saying what most Americans and Georgians are thinking!

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
10:25 am

Mr. Grumpy

You DUMBAZZ.

SIDEWINDER

February 26th, 2010
10:25 am

HOW BOUT WE ELIMINATE THE DOUBLE DIPPERS AND MAKE THEM GARNISH THE STATE EMPLOYEES WAGES WHO OWE THOUSANDS IN BACK TAXES.

A Realist

February 26th, 2010
10:29 am

Finally

February 26th, 2010
9:24 am
End welfare – make all schools private and tuition based – no more school busses and no more school tax (largest property tax you pay) – stop rewarding baby momma’s that squirt out 5-10 babies just too collect more welfare, SSI and food stamps – and audit all government on the spending they do – they need to quit taking trips and meals on the tax payers dollar!

This is an idea I could embrace…….FINALLY, I’ll vote for you if you’ll run. :)

James

February 26th, 2010
10:35 am

@”M” re: “Government employees produce no goods or services of value, and most are hard pressed to be hired by the private sector because they can’t produce anything of value.”

What a load of right wing anti-government radical urban legend BS. Posting on my furlough day, while I sit here still working in order to get the job done and after a year plus of 60+ hours per week to make up for tasks assigned to me formerly performed by folks who were laid off.

Screw you

hmmm?

February 26th, 2010
10:37 am

How many people did Handel layoff from the Secretary of State’s office? She had the full power and authority to do so.

Kuska

February 26th, 2010
10:44 am

Typical short sightness, lay of thousands and pay them unimployment for a year not to work plus medicade, foodstamps etc, instead of paying them to work – all the while our roads become undriveable, we have to wait in long lines for hours (losing more and more work time) to get a license, etc.

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
10:44 am

“What a load of right wing anti-government radical urban legend BS. Posting on my furlough day, while I sit here still working in order to get the job done and after a year plus of 60+ hours per week to make up for tasks assigned to me formerly performed by folks who were laid off.”

Total BS you whining, bedwetting LOSER!!

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
10:45 am

Kuska sends us some typical STUPIDITY!!

M

February 26th, 2010
11:28 am

To James who posted: “What a load of right wing anti-government radical urban legend BS. Posting on my furlough day, while I sit here still working in order to get the job done and after a year plus of 60+ hours per week to make up for tasks assigned to me formerly performed by folks who were laid off.”

If working for the government is so bad, why haven’t you ever left? My guess is that a for-profit company won’t hire you because they expect results – something government employees don’t see as essential.

Also, if you believe that my views qualify me as a right-wing, anti-government radical than I’m proud to be called that. Most true Americans would call me a patriot – someone who works hard, pays enough taxes to support multiple illegal families, and is concerned that the emperor in the White House is spending this country into bankruptcy. The government owes you nothing — you owe yourself everything!

Jeff

February 26th, 2010
11:45 am

And just how much would go back out in the form of unemployment, food stamps, etc??

tc

February 26th, 2010
11:52 am

m, you know a great deal of this mess is attributable to bush, greenspan, rubin, chris cox, former senator phil graham, friedman and bs supply siders. let’s cut taxes, start 2 wars and not pay for them, and while we’re at it how bout medicare part D. if bush weren’t such a f#ck up i doubt a dem would be in white house. did the american public really think a dem was going to cut taxes? gdp up 5.9% and many economists agree the stimulus helped to a degree. calling obama an emperor shows what a nitwit you are. i’ll bet most folks in state govt could probably do your job too as well as those f#ctards on wall street. after all if handel is qualified to lead an $18B enterprise without a degree, heck what could be so hard as borrowing at 0% and investing at 4%+. you say govt employees are welfare and produce nothing….that could be said for a lot of jobs like acctg, lawyers, paper pushers in general……you’re a simpleton

Aaron Gould Sheinin

February 26th, 2010
12:00 pm

Hey, hmmmm?, Handel laid off quite a few from the SoS office while she was there. I seem to recall like 20 percent, but don’t hold me to t hat. I know it was significant though.

AJ

February 26th, 2010
12:00 pm

We rank dead last – or next to dead last in education, yet public school teachers still find the way through the teachers unions to get pay increases and avoid layoffs. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Public School teachers should take their fair share of the pain. Especially since this state consistently underperforms in public education.

Look at your property tax bills folks – over 80% goes to fund public education. We have a lottery that, brace yourselves – has experienced significant growth during this economic downturn.

Take a look at what unions have done for the auto industry, the steel industry, the airline industry. It is no different than what is happening with education.

Leave my police protection and fire protection alone. Do you know the men and women who protect your butts make about 1/2 the annual salary of a public school teacher? And, teachers don’t even ‘work’ a full year – average that one out.
Start holding public schools accountable for the funds they receive and spread those layoffs to include public school teachers.

James

February 26th, 2010
12:42 pm

@M – I chose to work in Higher Education and came here of my own accord from a long and successful career in the private sector so on those counts you are dead wrong. Sorry but your ideological world view just doesn’t hold up to reality. Shades of grey and all that.

Now your question of why stay, you’re very correct and I may well be reaching a point where I will return to the private sector from which I have offers monthly. I will have to balance my passion for providing my experience and knowledge in my public service role with the need to feed my family.

Just like in the private sector, you get what you pay for and your ability to pay for my experience is clearly lacking. Welcome to the invisible hand of the market place, it works in the public sector as well.

This will mean one less job available to you and yours in the private sector, but hey maybe you can get a job with the government.

Kat

February 26th, 2010
12:44 pm

We need less government, not MORE government and more taxes. If individual citizens were held accountable we wouldn’t need government to run our lives. If you are lazy and don’t want to work, then I guess you starve. I don’t feel bad for you. The idea that we should shorten the school year and cut education is ridicules. It’s not like we have world class schools here in Georgia. Provide for our children through education; protect our communities with well trained policemen & firemen; start hacking away at the rest. Welfare dollars earmarked for Angel Food Ministries???? Come on!

James

February 26th, 2010
12:45 pm

Oh and by the way M, you may pay taxes but unless you’re in the top 2-3% of income earners in the nation you’ve never paid your fair share. You’ve been suckling at the teat of others who pulled their bootstraps up higher than yours. They have subsidized your life from the moment you were born.

Now, are you going to cut them a check or will you be paying in cash?

James

February 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

So Kat, socialism is OK with you as long as it subsidizes the things you want correct? Why not make fire, police and education pay as you go and eliminate those functions from government control?

Waste in govt

February 26th, 2010
12:51 pm

Police — too many and overpaid—they don’t “prevent crime”–instead, they show up after crimes are committed and write reports, and hassle the victim for bothering them.

Base

February 26th, 2010
12:55 pm

Mass state layoffs would really help the failing Sonny state economy and rising unemployment rate.Handel and Scott need to get real job and quite living off the taxpayers.

M

February 26th, 2010
12:57 pm

James – sounds like you are a tenured professor – another socialistic way of paying salary and benefits for lifetime mediocrity.

You may or may not be correct about the tax issue, but the Fair Tax could help rectify the situation. When almost 50% of this country pays no federal tax, we have a big problem! They essentially have the votes to decide to raise my taxes while they pay none. In my opinion, if you pay no federal tax, you don’t get to vote.

Outhouse GoKart

February 26th, 2010
12:59 pm

The sooner we begin FIRING these LazyAZZ State workers the better off we will ALL be.

tc

February 26th, 2010
1:08 pm

what’s the matter outhouse did the guards mistreat you!

James

February 26th, 2010
1:11 pm

@M – wrong again, and tenure iis not a socialist construct, it occurs at private schools as well. For you to paint all profs as producing only mediocrity says quite a bit about you.

Sherman's Buddy

February 26th, 2010
1:12 pm

Now they are calling the state a job’s program? Wow I thought that was reserved only for minority run governments. The good ol’ boys turnin’ on one ‘nother. Ya’ll let this skirt win and this state will spiral out of control ten times faster than its doing now and you’ll be sendin’ a message that us needin’ nothing more than a G-E-D. LOL

tc

February 26th, 2010
1:13 pm

being a sonny protege is no ringing endorsement….

Sonny

February 26th, 2010
1:21 pm

Great job Handel!!!!!By the way ,if you become GOV.I have some buddies that are going to need some jobs. Be sure the pay is over100K since that is what they made for me!When the election is over nobody will care! OH HAPPY DAYS!

Bill

February 26th, 2010
1:26 pm

Is there waste and corruption in government? Of course there is. But, destroying government to get rid of it it truly throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I am tired of hear people whine about how much taxes they pay. We are the least taxed developed nation on earth. Ronald Reagan said that government is the problem. From that day to this, Ronald Reagan has been the problem because so many people were eager to accept this simplified notion.

I cannot imagine what this country will be like if the anti-government folks have their way. We will become a nation of survivalists. This is sub-optimization at its worst. We are much stronger and better when we solve problems together as a community, whether that community is at a local, state or federal level.

Arguing about the size of government focuses on the wrong question. What is most important, is not how large or how small, but how effective government is. There is plenty of room for improvement in that area, but we won’t find those improvements as long as we are arguing the wrong question.

Former StateEmployee

February 26th, 2010
1:34 pm

I am appalled at what I am reading here! You have NO business writing and making judgment on those things about which you know NOTHING!! I worked in state government for over 20 years. I moved into the private sector about 3 years ago. In state government, I made approximately 60% of what I am paid now to do almost the same job. My benefits at the state were a joke – rising premiums each year, no cost-of-living or merit raises. I worked my arse off doing 60 plus hours a week just because I cared about my work and wanted to make a difference. After years of declining take-home pay, I had to make a change to continue to support my family. My life in the private sector is a cadillac ride compared to what it used to be. My family actually has access to me again, and I can take vacations with them without having to be at some governor-appointee’s beck and call 24/7.
I agree that the layers need to go. But the culture at the state is one of CYA, so all the Commissioners surround themselves with bureaucrats to “take care” of everything. Then those bureaucrats don’t really know the work and surround themselves with folks that do and can actually keep their fingers on the pulse of what is happening. Then there are the workers. Some of them are lazy and incompetent – sure. You know why? You get what you pay for. When the state only offers the absolute minimum salary for non-executive positions, how can you affect to get good, quality workers? Those professionals are going to work elsewhere where they can get paid a little closer to what their work is worth.
And “WHACKS” – Public Health (or what is left of it after being raped by the current administration) is no longer under DHR. They moved to Dept of Community Health last year. Retirement has already been restructured for new hires. Many of you are saying things that have already occurred. Do your research, or else you’re just like Handel and calling solutions before you even are well-educated on the problem.
Lastly, you do realize that stay workers do more than work on roads and collect your tax payments, don’t you? They help protect you from disease outbreaks, environmental hazards, etc.
My solution? Eliminate the non-essential state departments and offices – like customer service. Honestly, did we need to create a new office just to train people on how to act? Good managers can do that anyway. And no amount of customer service incentive in the world is going to undo the frustration that some state employees are experiencing after years of dealing with what some in the private sector have just begun to experience.
Let’s cut legislators’ pay. Let’s eliminate Go Fish.
Someone spoke of outsourcing IT. This, too, has already been done. Want a good article, AJC? Do a little investigating reporting on how Sonny’s GAIT2010 initiative has actually ended up costing the Departments millions more for IT support. Yes, MILLIONS – due to lack of vendors who were willing to bid for the work.) Guess who those costs get pushed back out to? We’ll all be paying more for our drivers licenses to be renewed, etc.
Oh – and immigrants already can’t get Medicaid.

Bill

February 26th, 2010
1:35 pm

AJ,
I challenge you to follow a public school teacher around for a week. (I am not one by the way). They (most of them) are among the hardest working people I know. And, there is not teachers union in Georgia or most of the south for that matter.

As for what the unions did for the Auto industry, industrial labor unions are largely responsible for the broad middle class that exists in this country. Whether you ever belonged to a union or not, you benefited. They lost their way in the last 30 years, but the management of these companies shares at least an equal share of the blame. If it were not for unions, the 12 hour day would still be standard. You might get Sunday off. Forget about extra pay for overtime. But that is ok, because your kids would be working by your side to make it up. You would buy your groceries at the company store, and don’t even get me started on worker safety. The entire middle class was lifted by unions, like it or not.

Former StateEmployee

February 26th, 2010
1:41 pm

I meant ‘illegal’ immigrants….typing too fast.

James

February 26th, 2010
1:51 pm

@FormerStateEmployee – Thanks for reminding me of Sonny’s great outsourcing adventure. When the private sector is asked to provide the same services they rightfully charge full price and that price is much higher. Outsource all you want, it will just cost you more nearly every time.

Chris

February 26th, 2010
1:55 pm

There’s no way I’ll vote for Handel after this comment. She’s yet another politician who wants to cut education further (it’s always the first to get hit) in a state that doesn’t care that we’re consistently at the bottom of the national rankings. It’s an embarrassment that we elect people who do nothing to fix our education system, but instead, seek to decimate it.

Just a Suggestion

February 26th, 2010
1:58 pm

I believe the state could save a lot of money by offering those state employees under the old retirement plan and early out. Let them go ahead and retire with the same benefits as if they had worked the required 34 years. After all, their retirement benefits would come from a different pot than the state revenue pot.

Sonny

February 26th, 2010
2:02 pm

I need to go fishing. All this talk about layoffs makes for a bad day. You fellows up under the gold dome,Let’s call it the day and go to my place on lake Jackson for some fun.Handel you are invited but please no talking about layoffs some of my buddies are worried about their jobs.

tc

February 26th, 2010
2:23 pm

just a suggestion, the retirement fund is already underfunded due to perdue’s budget recommendations over last 7 years. and now with massive layoffs it’s likely they’ll short the retirement funds for teachers and employees, but they will make sure the legislative retirement fund and judges is better funded. maybe they could let older employees buy with their money the cost of retiring early say up to 2 years.

Ahmad

February 26th, 2010
2:27 pm

As usual, when these hypocrite Repubs doesn’t know how to solve a problem, the first thing they aim at are the easiest targets. I hope these two nitwits who are suggesting state employees cuts and entire agencies cuts remember that we are voting citizens too and contribute our fair share of taxes. What these clueless Repubs need to do is weed out their incompetent “buddies” that sit around taking up space and taxpayers’ dollars, buddies that were hhired on the buddy system not any qualifications! It is damn sickening when these clueless nitwits without any proper solutions come up with the dumbest ideas. Just like the DUMMY that got us in this mess during 2001 to 2008 to begin with. Why don’t they go after the Repub fat cats that have robbed our economy for the past many years???? These dunces need to do grammar and spell-check before they open their lard holes to utter a word!

PHaid

February 26th, 2010
2:31 pm

Instead of laying off teachers, police officers, firemen, court personnel, etc, I think Georgia’s part-time state legislature should volunteer to work without pay. As wealthy republicans, they won’t miss the money.

Knows Better

February 26th, 2010
2:57 pm

What purpose do they serve anyway????
EXAMPLE: How many state bureaucrats do we need to tell us to “curtail water use during a drought”?

Rocket Redglare

February 26th, 2010
3:06 pm

Hadel just got my vote!!!!
Finally, a politician that will attack the problem at the “source”!!!
These clowns regulate(or attempt to regulate) every aspect of our lives, and could not qualify the most meanial job in the private sector!!!
Keep it up Karen!

Barry

February 26th, 2010
3:08 pm

Hey, Furloughed: Handel specifically said Department of Corrections wouldn’t be included in layoffs, so your crappy job is safe.

Audrey in Georgia

February 26th, 2010
3:22 pm

Vote NO republicans in office!!!

RJ

February 26th, 2010
3:37 pm

Police are not there to “prevent crime”….they are there to ENFORCE THE LAW.

Ryan

February 26th, 2010
3:39 pm

Karen just got my vote! Fire as many gubanent workers as possible.

Pretend they are in the private sector

February 26th, 2010
3:41 pm

Over the last two years, my company has seen its workforce reduced by 41%, and the salaries and wages of its remaining employees reduced by at least 20%. These changes were made to help ensure the survival of the organination and the jobs it provides. If such treatment is acceptable for private sector workers, then I see no reason why government employees should not be asked to take pay cuts, furloughs, and even layoffs … and teachers should NOT be exempt. Over the last 30 years, we have reduced our student / teacher ratios dramatically, but with no appreciable difference in test scores or other results. We could increase class sizes by 2-4 students, save several million dollars, and have little to no impact on our students.

SuzyQ

February 26th, 2010
3:46 pm

Ted Nougat, if you hate the USA, then get the H out & go live in Russia. Karen Handel is an uneducated, unqualified Republican who doesn’t have a clue!!!

OnFurloughToday

February 26th, 2010
3:46 pm

Where does this woman get off? She didn’t do furloughs in her office as ORDERED by the Governor and now she wants to lay off thousands of dedicated State workers? Does she not think that we read the papers? Does she not think that we vote? Oh, maybe that’s it — she CAN’T think, so she doesn’t think we can.

21

February 26th, 2010
3:47 pm

People, go to the Georgia state auditor’s web page. See what state workers make!

Interesting mix of opinions in these here discussions

February 26th, 2010
4:02 pm

To all the ‘less government’ crowd, I suggest you be careful what you ask for. For the ‘government’ includes the police, prison guards, paramedics, firefighters, as well as the judges and prosecutors who put the bad guys away, all the way to the lowly workers who inspect the bridges you drive over every day, make sure the elevators are safe, and help to keep your drinking water safe. So which do you want less of: fire safety, clean water, safe food, or safe bridges?

Should there be ‘less government’? Maybe. Do we really need a fishing museum? Do we really need to pay for the endless string of Ford Crown Victoria automobiles that John Oxendine seems to crash on a weekly basis? Do we really need a state-funded Golf Hall of Fame, a Sports Hall of Fame, and a Music Hall of Fame?

Go to Georgia.gov and look at all the state agencies and decide which ones to eliminate; the majority of these agencies are things that keep people safe, prevent bad things from happening, or take care of things we already have.

bob

February 26th, 2010
4:06 pm

Can anyone who writes in here actually read? Cut vacancies to save money? You don’t pay for vacant positions, so cutting them is a shell game. No real savings. Cut State salaries? What do you think furloughs do? People don’t get paid for those days, many agencies have 12 furlough days this year, that’s a pretty big cut. W grew the economy for 6 yrs. Cool, he was president for 8 and lost enough ground in 2 yrs, it took 6 to get it back and then lost all of it before he was out the door. The Governor ordered furloughs. So? The Secretary of State doesn’t work for the Governor. Have you ever been to school? Know anything about Georgia Civics?

Anyone happy with the line to get a driver’s license? How about we cut that department back so that those lines take all day. Even if you do that, you wouldn’t save enough to put a dent in the revenue shortfall.

Wow, lots of people writing, but very few making any sense.

extremerightwing

February 26th, 2010
4:29 pm

Georgia employees are no different than employees in any other business except that their pay is derived from the taxpayer, or in this case their customers. The simple fact is that the customers aren’t shopping (paying taxes) at the same rate as compared to a couple of years ago. When the revenue for a business begins to decline the owners of the business have several options:

- continue operations as is until all money is exhausted and then close
- scale back operations including laying off employees and continue limited operations
- raise prices and hope customers continue to shop there

In this case, the board of directors of this company, the citizens of the state of Georgia, have deemed it necessary to exercise option two.

does this mean people will lose jobs? yes it does and i am sorry for that. but there are no jobs, not even state jobs, that are guaranteed.

no union can prevent this from happening.

Georgia Budget: where does the money go?

February 26th, 2010
4:36 pm

Interesting: 57% of the money $7Billion goes to education. Health and Safety takes another 27.5%. So about 90% of the money goes to education, health, or safety. The other 10 percent goes towards the cost of running the state, the cost of debt, etc.

http://www.opb.state.ga.us/budget-information/budget-publications/govenor%27s-budget-recommendations.aspx

The big shocker in the 2011 budget plan is to cut education funding by $500 Million, while ‘the office of the Governor’ funding remains unchanged at $42 Millon per year. Why does it take $40 Million dollars to run the governor’s office? Do they burn money for fuel?

gubmint worker

February 26th, 2010
4:43 pm

If we want to reduce the state payroll and get rid of the dead beat workers at the same time, we need to “weed” them out through mandatory drug testing. It certainly works for the DOT and their CDL licensed employees. For those of you who worry about laying off people only to have them collect unemployment, failing a drug test results in dismissal, or “you’re fired!” Do not pass go, do not collect… And “weeding out” works for teachers too, creating employment opportunities for laid off teachers and recent college graduates. This is a win-win for all (except the druggies, of course).

ExStateBudgetGuy

February 26th, 2010
4:44 pm

@Bob…Yes you do pay for Vacant positions. Money is appropriated for all positions even when vacant, otherwise the agency, department etc… would have to request funding to hire for vacant positions. The real work needs to be done in the area of efficiency. I too worked for the State for far too many years and I worked nights and weekends, also. I took a position in the corporate world and I now make double the salary I made at the State, with fewer work hours. The cost of the benefits at the State have increasingly been shifted to the employee who hasn’t received a decent raise for several years now. They gave a 2% raise a few years back only to be offset by a 7% increase in benefit premiums. That’s negative math anyway you calculate it.

Now throw in furloughs (unpaid days off), another benefit premium increase, and why not throw in the layoffs you are seeking. I should fall behind on my mortgage in about 60 days and 90 days I will outright lose it to forclosure…Oh YEah by the way BOB…. I’m your neighbor…Hope the forclosure doesn’t hurt your home value.

Hamm Ghast

February 26th, 2010
4:44 pm

Campaign rhetoric. Not going to happen.

The easiest way to save government dollars is to cut the Consultants. How many of them took a pay cut? Furlough day? How many of them are also receiving a govt pension?

OnFurloughToday

February 26th, 2010
4:47 pm

I just learned that AJC removed your comment about taking away our forfeited leave. You are so out-of-tune with State government that you didn’t even know that forfeited leave counts as creditable service toward retirement. It doesn’t cost the State anything because it comes from the Employees’ Retirement System, not tax dollars. You must have been one of those State employees who takes leave as soon as it’s accrued and didn’t know that. If you want to save the State money, you need to have unforfeited annual leave go to retirement, as well, instead of paying it in one lump sum on our last paycheck. Now THAT would save State dollars.

James

February 26th, 2010
4:53 pm

@Georgia Budget: where does the money go? – Re: Governor’s Office, not sure what your looking at but it appears that office is going to take a sizable cut in Fy2010 (-$6.9m) on page 14.

It is interesting that the Senate, House and their joint offices will not take a single $1 of a cut. WTF?

Georgia Budget: where does the money go?

February 26th, 2010
5:07 pm

I do agree that the governor’s office is taking a cut, but what kind of ‘office’ takes $40 Million annually to run? Seriously….does it take THAT many people to hold the door for Sonny? What, do they tear down the building once a year and rebuild it?

K

February 26th, 2010
5:09 pm

if one more person uses the “long lines at the driver’s license place” argument, i’m gonna scream. you’d think that was the only office in all of Georgia government.

James

February 26th, 2010
5:15 pm

@Georgia Budget: where does the money go? – Agreed, that is the enough to fund a school system.

Blackberry Cobbler

February 26th, 2010
5:23 pm

I’m a state employee and I make a good salary. I’ve earned it over almost 30 years of service.

State workers do these jobs, as any other position in the public or private sector, because someone at some time decided the work was worth doing. We are here because at one time we were deemed needed and wanted jst as any other job- public or private.

If the powers that be now decide I’m not needed, fine. Give me 6-months notice and some severance pay to help protect me and my family financially and I’ll gladly get the hell out. I can and will find other work probably making more money.

More Furloughs

February 26th, 2010
5:24 pm

Lets go for one a week. That way govt employees are guaranteed not to have to work more than 32 hrs in a week. Sure beats the 55+ we work in a normal week.

Or, as someone said earlier, find a way to furlough the consultants.

AutoSlug

February 26th, 2010
6:02 pm

I think the biggest percentage of politicians are geniuses. They have figured out an angle to steal enough to be set for life with the reverse Robin Hood philosophy. Steal from the poor and keep it for myself!

tc

February 26th, 2010
6:03 pm

don’t think you are correct on furlough today…..there is no free lunch for forfeited leave. and ers dollars are derived from tax dollars (% of employees salary) and investments. maybe a state budgeteer can clarify, but just imagine if an employee who has 1 yr of forfeited leave retires after 30 years, then gets credit for 31 which means a higher pension which means a higher employer contribution rate which are tax dollars augmented by investment income. this assumes many other employees are also taking this approach.

State Employee

February 26th, 2010
6:10 pm

How about stopping the practice of having a person retire on Friday and come back to the same job or same agency on Monday as a contractor? If there person retires, give someone else a chance to do the job.

Gman

February 26th, 2010
6:38 pm

The politicians in Georgia are ignorant and so are the people. When your household doesn’t have enough revenue coming in to support it, you have two (2) options, eliminate the non-essentials and/or find another source of revenue. We have another source of revenue that we refuse to explore, Sunday liquor sales and gambling. If you don’t make enough money, you get a 2nd job… DIMWITS!

Kelley

February 26th, 2010
6:53 pm

You should not worry about Karen hiring any more friends, I don’t think she has any left, snakes don’t have fiends. On the flip side, if you don’t vote for her we will save a bundle because the friends she hired while with the SOS, who are getting the six figure salaries and the bonuses ( yes she is paying bonuses) will be dumped.. She fired a lot of workers, yes mostly black, and rehired immediately. She is doing the shell game. I have another fun idea, go and ask her a question she doesn’t like and watch her face contort, kind of funny. No, I am not black but what she did to the SOS and those she fired would make the most hard hearted person cringe.

Robert

February 26th, 2010
8:41 pm

Aside from DOT, every large agency in the state is so over-bloated that they could do their job with a small fraction of the employees. Just chart the growth of these agencies and see for yourself. I wish the AJC would do this an expose these agencies.

And yes, I’m serious.

Robert

February 26th, 2010
8:44 pm

I forgot to mention that the teachers’ unions (they call them “associations”) are destroying this state. Enough of them, no government should tolerate public employees unions. If you don’t understand this, look at California, to name one example.

Grindl

February 26th, 2010
8:51 pm

Furlough the General Assembly indefinitely. We could save billions and protect our women too.

JacketFan

February 26th, 2010
8:57 pm

Okay, Georgians. Let’s think here for a minute. You want to privatize everything? Okay, if you have kids, take a look at how much you pay in state taxes every year and then look at the cost of a private school education for a year … think you can afford it, even with not state taxes coming out? Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute to work out that math.

buzzDawg

February 26th, 2010
9:00 pm

Most of the commentators here have no clue what State employees do and simply reply upon false impressions about waste in government based upon Department of Defense contracts for $2000 toilets in the news years ago. There is certainly waste but not everywhere. To fund ridiculous pork projects, public safety dollars in Georgia have shrank for years – under both Democrats and Republicans. DNA testing takes months because our Legislators are fond of claiming to be in favor of law enforcement but won’t actually fund it. You get more votes by funding the pork. Outsourcing IT (as mentioned by others above) has cost a fortune. Outsourcing crime lab work similarly was costly. Our legislators have an opportunity to cut the wasteful spending but they won’t. Instead they will cut everyone the same percent. So the agency which is an entire waste of tax payer dollars is cut ten percent while the public safety jobs which have not been funding adequately in years will also be cut ten percent because our Legislators cannot and will not make the difficult calls. The Legislators must remember that Solomon’s wisdom was not found in his pronouncement to split the baby, that was merely the means by which the true mother was revealed. Our legislators will split the baby by cutting everyone equally and decree themselves wise.

@JacketFan

February 26th, 2010
9:12 pm

Enter your comments here

Not Fair

February 26th, 2010
9:18 pm

That’s not fair Jacket Fan. Now all of the “free thinking” conservatives have to wait for the Monday edition of Neal Boortz’ talking points before they can respond.

Oh well, they are probably busy this weekend running their “small businesses” and keeping track of all their illegal immigrant employees.

tc

February 26th, 2010
9:24 pm

buzzDawg

February 26th, 2010
9:39 pm

Although our legislators have an opportunity to cut out the pork they will not. Like Solomon, they will split the baby and cut 10 percent across the board – so the agencies that have fat built in will be fine but those agencies, public safety primarily, will be cutting bone and sinew. Solomon pronounced his judgement to reveal the true mother. Our legislators will avoid the hard work by splitting the baby and then decree themselves wise. True wisdom requires a thoughtful approach and the weighing of all relevant factors, something they cannot and will not do.

gov'tworker

February 26th, 2010
9:49 pm

It amazes me how dumb America has become, especially here in the South. We cannot see the forest for the trees. There is so much hatred towards the president, minorities, and immigrants, you don’t realize by the grace of God, there go I.

Tax Paying Georgian

February 26th, 2010
10:01 pm

My son is a state employee in the University System. He was told today that they would be getting a 20% pay cut but expected to carry the same class load. Parents paying for tuition should be up in arms that their children will get a sub-standard education as the most qualified teachers will make a mass exodus from the University System and the ones that are left will not feel they are paid enough to go the extra mile for their students. I know that a tanked economy has a lot to do with the fiscal crisis in Georgia, but there is enough wasteful spending around that money can be found if they just open their eyes and look. Most college professors make a fairly meager salary as it is and asking them to take that kind of a hit and still give our children a quality education is a little much.

Simple

February 26th, 2010
10:06 pm

1. Cut all government services aside from police and fire.

2. Let all Georgians “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” or perish.

3. Watch the rolls of registered Democrats skyrocket exponentially.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Jane Sack

February 26th, 2010
11:40 pm

Protect teachers and L.E. but not your DFCS workers. At the moment, DFCS agencies are understaffed and w/o experienc ed workers and supervisors. And you think that to save money, you want to eliminate DFCS positions and protect others? Apparently, u don’t care about the children of the State of Georgia. You can’t teach children who come to school hungry and scared to go home. Get with the program.

She said what!?

February 27th, 2010
3:04 am

The Republicans field of candidates for Governor has suddenly become like a pecan grove. Full of nuts!

VoiceOfReason

February 27th, 2010
6:14 am

Why would anyone consider voting for someone that would carelessly put thousands of people out of a job when there are much better alternatives? That’s GED-level reasoning at its best.

With unemployment already around 10%, wouldn’t it be far better to mandate an emergency, flat salary reduction of 25% across the board than it would be to add thousands to the ranks of the unemployed? In the current economy, many of those are likely to become long-term unemployed. The impact of that goes far beyond the obvious direct costs associated with unemployment benefits. Lost consumer revenue, lower sales tax revenue, more strain on emergency rooms as more people that can no longer afford health insurance seek alternatives, the list goes on.

One of the problems we have is that instead of setting aside funds when the state was running a surplus, Georgia’s governor wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on things like a pointless relocation of Corrections from Atlanta to middle Georgia, and on outsourcing the state’s IT infrastructure to inept service providers that are in fact costing FIVE TO SIX TIMES as much as the state was paying salaried employees for exactly the same services. It’s a massive added expense. Quality jobs that were here in Georgia are now or will be outsourced to India, at *zero* savings to the state, which is contractually obligated to pay the same outrageous rates regardless. By the way, there was only one bidder for each part of the IT contract. But you don’t hear about that part in the news, did you?

IT-a-Go-Go

February 27th, 2010
7:14 am

Worth repeating –

“… and on outsourcing the state’s IT infrastructure to inept service providers that are in fact costing FIVE TO SIX TIMES as much as the state was paying salaried employees for exactly the same services. It’s a massive added expense. Quality jobs that were here in Georgia are now or will be outsourced to India, at *zero* savings to the state, which is contractually obligated to pay the same outrageous rates regardless. By the way, there was only one bidder for each part of the IT contract. But you don’t hear about that part in the news, did you?”

FighttheRedMenace

February 27th, 2010
7:47 am

Join the fight against the government red-trucks!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111256528714

For too long now, fire departments across the United States have been SOCIALIST organizations, resulting in TAXES on the American people.

Currently there are NO FD’s that operate a pay-to-play scenario. We are going to change that with our town hall meetings and demonstrations nationwide to privatize Big ObamaFireCare.

Stop these “Government Redtrucks” from infringing on the rights of PRIVATE companies who can do it without taxing the American people, and only for those who can afford it.

tc

February 27th, 2010
8:36 am

red menace, are you saying to privatize, didn’t you just read where the state is now going to pay more for IT and employee folks in india…..and your website suggests possiblity of using halliburton…..are you friggin’ crazy you blackwater drinkin’ neanderthal…..or did i miss something….how much does your ceo make?

nimrod

February 27th, 2010
8:57 am

ajc, pretty clear 2 me this woman has lingering affects from the ‘abuse’ she suffered @ home. thats why she skipped college right? had to leave @ 17 it was so bad. how bout an article on what the abuse was. sexual, physical, mental–shes asking to be gov. we have a right to know more i think.

handel's elephant

February 27th, 2010
9:06 am

has handel taken a furlough. Has her staff? If not, why not?

Rino Worker

February 27th, 2010
9:09 am

Cut the state budget by 30% across the board—people will adapt—this is a depression, not a recession.

Alex

February 27th, 2010
9:12 am

She suffering from PTSD?

KellyB

February 27th, 2010
9:55 am

worth repeating AGAIN – come on, AJC – pick up on this story already!
Worth repeating –

“… and on outsourcing the state’s IT infrastructure to inept service providers that are in fact costing FIVE TO SIX TIMES as much as the state was paying salaried employees for exactly the same services. It’s a massive added expense. Quality jobs that were here in Georgia are now or will be outsourced to India, at *zero* savings to the state, which is contractually obligated to pay the same outrageous rates regardless. By the way, there was only one bidder for each part of the IT contract. But you don’t hear about that part in the news, did you?”

retired Ste Employee

February 27th, 2010
10:30 am

I am in agreement to eliminate unnecessary State positions. However, I don’t think that Karen Handel or any politician has enough knowledge to determine what positions are essential. For sure, important and necessary positions are in other departments other than law enforcement and teachers. It is unfortunate that the process to eliminate employees and jobs is not a quick and easy process. Firing essential State staff can cause Federal financial penalties against the State; leave vulnerable citizens at risk; prevent or seriously delay tax refunds or collection, unemployment benefits, Food Stamps, Medicaid, child welfare services. Hopefully, you get the picture. Careful consideration must be made before firing any State staff.

retired State Employee

February 27th, 2010
10:32 am

I am in agreement to eliminate unnecessary State positions. However, I don’t think that Karen Handel or any politician has enough knowledge to determine what positions are essential. For sure, important and necessary positions are in other departments other than law enforcement and teachers. It is unfortunate that the process to eliminate employees and jobs is not a quick process. Firing essential State staff can cause Federal financial penalties against the State; leave vulnerable citizens at risk; prevent or seriously delay tax refunds or collection, unemployment benefits, Food Stamps, Medicaid, child welfare services. Hopefully, you get the picture. Careful consideration must be made before firing essential State staff.

VoiceOfReason

February 27th, 2010
10:32 am

A little more detail. The GAIT2010 initiative was, from the outset, never meant to save money, and the governor’s office was careful not to present it as such, but nobody realized how expensive it would be until the bills started to pile up. It was presented as a need to fix something that was, in the assessment of the governor, badly broken. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Overall, the state’s IT infrastructure had been working quite well for some 30 years, despite the fact that it paid very low salaries relative to the private sector. The determination that it was necessary to outsource was based upon a study that was, in fact, only intended to set the stage for large corporate interests. Organizations such as ATT (previously BellSouth) and IBM have been aggressively lobbying Georgia politicians to outsource IT for years. Before the current Governor was in office, an earlier lobbying effort was making progress under the Barnes administration as well. Outsourcing had become fashionable in other states, many of which are now either backing out or on the verge of doing so as costs are exorbitant and service is problematic. Georgia’s situation is particularly inefficient, as service requests require coordination between three separate entities – IBM, ATT and Dell. It’s often necessary to involve more than one provider to complete a single request. It’s slow, tedious, inefficient, and expensive. This is what we get when we let politicians make decisions that require a reasonable understanding of technology. A mess.

As for moving Corrections from Atlanta to Forsyth, why? To bolster employment in middle Georgia? What does this really accomplish? By displacing positions in Atlanta, and at the same time spending millions to restore an old college campus, relocate an entire agency, and train new people to assume positions that were already filled, we gain nothing. We lose. Big. The governor, on the other hand, gained a great deal by making the announcement shortly before the last election. Votes.

I hope we have a better crop to choose from next time, but Karen Handel offers little evidence of intelligent life.

UGA1954

February 27th, 2010
10:49 am

Somehow, with all the Handel bashing and rhetoric, no one has mentioned the fact that Representative Scott is actually privy to the entire budget of the State of Georgia. He is dealing with it on a daily basis because of his position with Appropriations. He has some very good, valid, and sound ideas on the budget. He is worthy of consideration. He is experienced (legislature and businessman), he is fiscally conservative, and a very well-educated, intelligent man. And, just to set the record straight, contrary to what is reported by the AJC, Representative Scott was contact by AP about his comments on the budget. The AJC picked that up. He most certainly did not go running to the AJC to throw in his two cents worth about Handel’s budget ideas. The AJC is very misleading with this whole thing.

university system employee

February 27th, 2010
10:54 am

Of the $600 million to be cut from the budget, $300 million is being cut from the University System. I agree, there is absolutely some waste there, as there is with any employer. However, there are those of us that work very hard for a less amount than we could earn in corporate America. We educate your children so that they may have a brighter, financially secure future. When the economy takes a downturn, people return to college to change their careers to improve their situations. We are at record highs for numbers of students AND retention. …and yes, we pay taxes that add to the state revenue, we have all had furlough days, and universities across the state are looking at cutting funding to the Continuing Education and Public Service divisions and entire “for credit” programs. Should be interesting when people who think all government employees are “lazy” and sitting around waiting for retirement need CE credits for their careers and have nowhere to go to get it…or when their children want to go to college they have to move to California and pay for housing and out-of-state tuition, because the program they want has been cut locally. Oh, and we CAN draw unemployment…and our retirement can remain in the system and we can return to state employment with “years earned” intact when the crisis is over, so it really is a temporary inconvenience for us. At the end of the “tuition freeze” though, you “haters” with children heading to college might want to brace yourself…as they’ve already determined that a 77% tuition increase is what it will take to balance the budget for the University System. THAT will hurt the entire population. Instead of being nasty to each other, we should all be praying for economic improvement.

Talon34

February 27th, 2010
11:11 am

I’ve been in a meeting with Handel. We’re in deep trouble if she gets elected. Extremely pompous, she told us that she NEVER takes overcrowding of schools and traffic impacts into consideration when she votes. Meanwhile, our schools are overcrowded and traffic is getting worse. Oh, but thanks to Karen, developers are getting richer.

Roger in Rome

February 27th, 2010
11:33 am

I am glad Karen Handel is not a mother. She would be a lousy one.

tc

February 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

shared sacrifice by all, reduce salaries teachers and employees, cut corporate welfare, modest revenue enhancers, especially sin taxes, use responsible gray panthers(state retirees) for appropriate jobs like clerical, asst case mgmrs in return for no cut to retiree pay (if able bodied…lots of young retirees), roll back part of the senior tax exemption ……everyone gives a little….

buzzDawg

February 27th, 2010
1:34 pm

Word has it that the legislators don’t like furloughs anymore as furloughs imply temporary cuts. They are now looking to cut dollars permanently from the budget. Judging from past experience, the legislators cannot and will not sit down and take the time to make the fine surgical cuts designed to remove fat from the budget. They will simply cut dollars across the board. The task they face is difficult. Some agencies scream at the most minor of cuts – like the Public Defenders did early on, shouting to all that a constitutional crisis was imminent. Some agencies, like the GBI Crime Lab, soldier on and bear the brunt of cuts while public safety is endangered. The legislators must sort the wheat from the chaff. It takes knowledge of what each agency’s duties are and what is actually required to fullfill those duties. Most don’t have a clue and it is too much work to become informed. It takes digging into a maze of numbers and asking tough questions and insisting upon frank answers. Elected legislators are part time state employees who will be guided primarily by doing what they think will assist in getting them re-elected which, in part, is catering to the misperceptions of the voting public. Demagogues like Handel are the worst sort.

Joe

February 27th, 2010
2:36 pm

guess she isnt interested in being gov
st employees vote & have families and friends too
pretty stoopid thing to say for a poli maybe she was suffering a hot flash
when she stormed the press room

another voice of reason

February 27th, 2010
3:15 pm

Look at the fy2002 and fy2003 budget.700 million deducted from the employees retirement system to help with budget shortfalls in the state operating budget.I wonder who approved this?SONNY? also look at the land deal/real estate at the old Tift College in Forsthy,Ga you will see why Department of Corrections moved from atlanta-Look at the FLOW of money and where it went.ALWAYS THE MONEY. It will surpise you.

Marcus Graham

February 27th, 2010
3:30 pm

A caucasian Jackie Barrett…oh wait…Jackie Barrett had a degree!

disgusted

February 27th, 2010
3:44 pm

And worth repeating again!
worth repeating AGAIN – come on, AJC – pick up on this story already!
Worth repeating –

“… and on outsourcing the state’s IT infrastructure to inept service providers that are in fact costing FIVE TO SIX TIMES as much as the state was paying salaried employees for exactly the same services. It’s a massive added expense. Quality jobs that were here in Georgia are now or will be outsourced to India, at *zero* savings to the state, which is contractually obligated to pay the same outrageous rates regardless. By the way, there was only one bidder for each part of the IT contract. But you don’t hear about that part in the news, did you?”

I have sent two emails to the AJC about this and have not recived a response. The Macon Telegraph had a story a few days ago but AJC is silent. The IT outsourcing has been a nightmare. It is costing my agency of ~2500 employees 10 million dollars this year. Insane. Come on, AJC! Cover this scandal!

td

February 27th, 2010
4:39 pm

disgusted, You are absolutely correct. I work for one of the larger agencies and I have heard the number $100 million. I work as a go between and every time we want to do something simple we are told by either GTA, IBM or AT&T that this was not in the contract and it will be a request for service and cost us additional money.

One of the biggest problem is the contract is controlled by GTA and their commissioner came out of the Governors office, wrote the contract and seems to support the vendor on every occasion. Our own commissioner can not make any headway because the governor always backs the GTA head.

This whole outsourcing is so corrupt but the AJC and the news media will not report on it at all for some reason.

Handel Gone

February 27th, 2010
5:22 pm

Handel’s posturing just to get elected—she would throw her own mother under the bus to get some votes. Another typical political phony–she has no chance.

tc

February 27th, 2010
6:40 pm

another voice of reason, is there a website to look at the fy2002-3 budget, i googled and could not find it. thanks

tc

February 27th, 2010
8:40 pm

handel gone, you overestimate georgia voters!

build casinos

February 27th, 2010
9:27 pm

Like Gman said in an earlier post, instead of focusing on just ways to save money we need to looks at way to bring in more money. Sunday liquor sales. Boom, there you go. They could even tax it at double the normal sales tax rate and people would still buy and you make even more money. Is there really in reason for this to not happen. You could go out and buy all the beer you want to Saturday and drink it all you want on Sunday. So why in the world does is it bad to let someone purchase on Sunday?

The biggest thing that can be done, something was overdue for a town this size, is to bring in casino gambling. I’m from missouri where we have casinos in both the Kansas City and St Louis areas. Each city has 3 or 4 different casinos. I found some #s online that said MO casinos brought in $440 mil in state and city tax revenue in 2008. Additionally, casinos must pay their corporate income taxes. And lets not forget the amount of jobs that would be created through the building of casinos and the amount of jobs created for people to run them.

Some other things to consider is that Atlanta is larger than the STL and KC metro areas combined and GA as a state is about double the population. And where is the closest place to get real casino gambling? Mississippi or New Orleans? Casino gambling in ATL would draw people in from surrounding states spending $ and bringing in additional revenue. It’s 2010 and the state needs to realize that people like to gamble and casinos would be a huge boom to the local economy. I think 2-3 carefully placed would be idea for the area.

In Missouri, 19% of adjusted gross revenue for the casinos goes to the state. I’d say an area this size could maybe even negotiate 20-22%.

Similar to the Sunday alcohol issue, I don’t see any good reason against this. There are a good number of people in this area that would like to be able to gamble here. There are obviously a lot of people who don’t gamble or think it is right, but it should be simple for them to simply not go.

Time to think outside of the box instead of these people just deciding who it is ok for them to take $ from.

td

February 27th, 2010
11:20 pm

Everyone is talking about raising the sin tax on smokers. The problem is smoking is going down and and even at $1 more per pack in not going to raise a ton of money. Now if you put another $1 a six pack tax on beer and $2 per drink at a bar the revenue problem would be solved. The MADD people could get behind the bar tax because that would surely cut down on the drinking at a bar? I think Georgia is one of the lowest states in the country on taxing alcohol and no one has to drink so it would be a luxury tax or consumption tax.

td

February 27th, 2010
11:37 pm

Almost forgot, Open Sunday sales and double the tax and that way all these people who want Sunday sales would be happy.

dmac

February 28th, 2010
8:33 am

I’m sure there are plenty of inefficiencies in our government and now is the time for improvements.

But, if our government lays-off thousands of workers, these newly unemployed will need government assistance while they look for a new job. Since the job market is so bad, their search could take many months. The economic question is, if we plan on re-filling some of these goverment jobs when the economy improves, does it really save the state money to lay-off these particular workers? It’s possible that the answer could be no.

dmac

February 28th, 2010
8:42 am

Why is it that these political leaders are so shy about raising taxes on the people least affected by the recession? The unemployment rate is only 3% for those who last year were in the top 10% of wage earners. These people still make great salaries (myself included), they (I) should help. But politicians don’t like to offend the people who pay for their election campaigns.

A modest 1% increase in the state income tax rate for those earning $400,000 or more is what state Senator Nan Orrock has propossed. I agree with the exception of lowering it from $400,000 to $100,000.

state advocate

February 28th, 2010
8:59 am

This is to WR:thank you! Ourlottery money should stay in place. It is for education and that is where it belongs! I recently went into a Pre-K class to read and if that teacher isn’t working her butt off,I would be ashamed to know anyone selling short our lottery money. Pre-k has now become what the rest of us considered kindergarten. Georgia is trying to up the standards even with furloughed teachers. Now, my suggestion for saving some education money is getting rid of these CRCT tests. THEY ARE NO GOOD! Lots of money, teacher stress, students anxiety, and it proves nothing! Student progress is what the student achieves from the time he walks in the door until he leaves. If a student is at 30 percent when he arrives and leaves at 60 percent, that is tremendous gains. But, does that dern test say that? No, he fails! Such a shame! Look into what the cost of this CRCT test and ITBS cost the state! A whole lot of money!! Get rid of those test! Their just fluff Kathy Cox!!!!!!

Low man on totem pole

February 28th, 2010
9:42 am

To the SUV driver thowing the bag of Krystals our the window, litter cost Georgian’s about $2 billion annually. As long as you litter, taxes will need to be levied. Laying off state employees who risk their lives picking up Handle’s yellow-stained mattress off the connector won’t help attract business and jobs to the state.

Dano

February 28th, 2010
10:50 am

I started working at the state of Georgia in 1992, making $18,000 a year. I now make $46,725 a year after 18 years. The average state worker makes very little. Yes, I could work in the private sector and possibly make more, but I get more satisfaction in working with the government, as I feel like a make a difference. In this economy, cutting jobs is not the answer. it will only make things worse. Why not implement a statewide 1 cent additional sales tax. similar to the SPLOST taxes that local governments do on occassion>

disgusted

February 28th, 2010
11:36 am

Handel also mentioned changing the way state employees accrue leave. That’s fine for new hires but how does she propose to handle current employees? Payout our current leave balances and start at zero? Yeah, that’ll save a lot of money. The other option is to just take what is already banked, but then employees will sue, and would most likely win.

disgusted

February 28th, 2010
11:43 am

TD – you are right about the GTA head. He is Sonny’s boy and in my no so humble opinion he has been elevated to a position he simply can’t handle. Statewide IT outrsourcing doesn’t work. Other states that have tried it are cancelling their contracts. You’d think we’d have learned from thier mistakes.

I was at the contract-writing kick off meeting back in Feb of 2008. I knew then this was going to be a huge mess. The people at GTA didn’t know what assets we had or what the real business needs of my agency were. When I returned from the meeting I told my Division Director we were in deep poop. Turns out I was 100% correct.

tc

February 28th, 2010
11:57 am

has the IT transfer taken place or can they pull plug and cite economic conditions….reimburse bidders for time and reasonable costs……i’ll bet the winning bidder is feeling pretty squimish too!

disgusted

February 28th, 2010
12:40 pm

TC.. All assets were transferred as of June 1. Existing equipment came under the perview of IBM. We now pay IBM $15 a month for “service” for EACH desktop computer in my agency. I think laptops are $22/month. If you need a piece of new software installed you can’t do it yourself. You have to call for an IT rep to come do it at a charge of about $100. If I move to an office down the hall I can’t simply tote my computer myself. I have to call the help desk and in a few days an IT rep will come move it. That too costs $100. Sounds real efficient and economical doesn’t it?

lucyfrills

February 28th, 2010
4:35 pm

I was employed with the SOS until 10-30-09, and she never furloughed any worker in the department, she just had them fired, thankfully I did retire to get out of the situation, which was not pleasent working for her. Why don’t they reduce the salaries of all the top people and see how much they can save.

tc

February 28th, 2010
5:36 pm

with a bunch of likely layoffs and office consolidations, looks like the new IT contractor will get a windfall….why not ask for a 5% cut in prices from them?

John Foster

February 28th, 2010
6:20 pm

How about a 30% salary cut for all government workers, including the governor and legislature? Then throw in zero capital spending for 3 years as a second restriction. Doing an across the board cut is much easier than picking and choosing who gets laid off. While we’re at it we could dissolve the State Patrol and tell the troopers to get jobs with the local jurisdictions since they’re always understaffed. We might actually get some REAL crime fighting out of them if they worked for the county or city.

James

February 28th, 2010
6:34 pm

@John Foster – Hope your kidding, that’s a ridiculous idea, though it’s also about the usual extent of the legislature’s analysis during budget cuts.

StopPorkNow

February 28th, 2010
7:21 pm

Let all the voters agree to vote out of office any legislator who votes for pork (whether it be Perdue’s or their own) while allowing layoffs of critical government agencies in public safety, education, or health. We say this is an opportunity for legislators to cut pork – they won’t. Let this be an opportunity for voters to cut legislators who waste out tax dollars.

lopa

February 28th, 2010
7:36 pm

Let’s put an end to the dozen or so overweight state troopers who work at the state capitol and who drive around all day and pull over lost GA citizens who are just trying to visit the capitol or the aquarium or who accompany Casey Cagle to secret stairwell meetings with Gena. That might save us some money.

td

February 28th, 2010
8:13 pm

disgusted. It cost $249.50 to move a pc to the next cube. It also cost $50 to set up accounts for new staff. It just cost us more than $20,000 to move 75 staff members from one building to another. We did a similar move 2 years ago and it cost the days salary for 5 state employees.

tc, It was a one bidder contract and IBM, AT&T was the only bidder. I think there is an out if the state wants out by this April or May or the atate is stuck for the next 6 years at $700,000,000 plus.

John Rogers

February 28th, 2010
9:49 pm

What would it take to get legislatures to remove the worst city offical in the state Douglasville Chief of Police Chris Womack.

Ricky

February 28th, 2010
9:53 pm

I retired from Georgia with a $89,000 per year pension. Next year my wife turns 48 so she will also be able to retire from the state…but her pension will only be about $75,000 per year. Both of our pensions increase each year based on the COLA..but now some lawmakers say they may freeze our COLA for the next two years. That would really put us in a pinch.

tc

March 1st, 2010
7:37 am

td, they need to pull plug…is there help center in india…..of the new contract, how many folks at ibmattt on visas? how many us citizens lost their jobs…..did new vendor hire ga folks first…..

ricky, i note a bit of sarcasm here……were you a teacher/regents employee or state employee…..
given the high salary/pension you were both close to top of your profession relative to state employment. at such a young age you can get another part time job or use the time to maximize your investments….heck at age 62 you can draw ss…….last i checked cost of living except gas and healthcare is pretty low……if you are not working now, you don’t pay commute expense, clothes cleaning, fica, etc…….tuff it out smuck

They're All Crooks

March 1st, 2010
8:05 am

Cutting the jobs of the politicially connected and those just drawing paychecks would save millions. But the first thing that needs to happen is that EVERY budget add-on needs to go. It looks like Gov. Sonny is trying to build his own private retirement center in Perry. …. Short drive to Sonny’s Fishing Hole, Lets go ride at Sonny’s Horse Farm, how about a visit to Sonny’s State Fair Complex. or visit the Sonny Vet School Complex at UGA. THANK YOU …Stupid Georgians ….for building me a retirement center close to home and for honoring me with my own Vet School.

Here’s something else…… everyone keeps saying that the Governor needs to have a collee degree, but those same people think that just because you are married to a Governor wantabe that you are qualified to be the LT. Governor. Such as the ticket of Dumb and Dumber.

Grifter9

March 1st, 2010
9:57 am

Well the first nonessential agency to be cut should be the Sec of State’s office. Or maybe it was just an ineffective embarrassment under Handel? No, I guess maybe all that taxpayer money she wasted trying to keep poor blacks and hispanics from voting WAS well spent.

hubba hubba

March 1st, 2010
11:03 am

Karen Handel is a typical Republican idiot who could not care less about the working man and woman in the state of Georgia. A certified DUFUS!

hubba hubba

March 1st, 2010
11:09 am

Our version of Sara Palin indeed- but with absolutely no looks.

You Asked

March 1st, 2010
1:40 pm

If Karen Handel wanted to make government more efficient she could have started with her own office. She didn’t. Now she wants to declare government workers are deadwood and start slashing.

There are over 2000 services provided to the citizens of Georgia by your state government. We do it on a very tight budget too. I’ve come from private industry and never saw this amount of work done so well by so few. Are there deadbeats? Yes. Are there more than in private industry? No. In fact more people in state service work here because they love to serve than in any other industry I’ve experienced.

Unlike teachers most state employees don’t have tenure or guaranteed jobs. Unlike Federal workers we don’t get a cost of living allowance. In fact most of us make less than we did three years ago due to furloughs and increased benefit costs out of our pockets.

There have been a lot of efforts over the last few years to improve service and make government more efficient. We were ranked in the top 5 states for government by the PEW foundation- the single biggest positive jump of all the states.

So you want to start slashing?

OK – where? Do you want to dismiss the people making sure child support gets paid to families so the children have food and shelter. They improved their intake process and are now collecting more support than ever without a penny increase in staffing. Other states are interested in learning how we did it.

Or how about Labor? Oh that’s right we need them more than ever with the economic downturn and people are screaming for their services even though they are overworked and understaffed.

Perhaps the prison system? Oops… we have a very low employee to offender ratio yet we have one of the safest most professional systems in the country.

How about drivers licenses? That’s right they have already shrunk their personnel while reducing the wait time for a license renewal from hours to less than 15 minutes.

What service do you want to go without? Mental health, roads and transportation, economic development (to attract business and jobs), environmental protection (to enforce clean up and prevention of toxic sites), forestry (to prevent wildfires and improve our paper and wood output (a huge part of our economy). Health Department (that insures the restraint you eat in doesn’t poison you to death)… The list goes on and on.

I invite any private industry worker to apply for and work a state job. You will work hard. You will also enjoy the benefit of making 3/4 what the equivalent job makes in private industry with no bonus or incentive pay. Get used to no cost of living or performance increase at all since our state budget is so tight. I suspect you wouldn’t have taken that kind of compensation when times are good. And FYI- there is no protected government job in the state. We are right to hire and fire just like private industry. I also suspect if we were to do an across the board slashing like you suggest you would be the first to scream because you had to wait in line longer for your favorite state service if you could get it at all.

You Asked

March 1st, 2010
1:43 pm

Oops. restraint = restaurant

I really should preview when I’m on a soap box.

Sherman

March 2nd, 2010
9:02 am

Tax Increases are unavoidable – Another option is cut all state employees salaries enough to save $1B a year. No layoffs.

$100K+ = 20% pay cut
$50K-100K =15% pay cut
$25-$50K = 5% pay cut
<$25K no pay cut

If you can't get by on $40-$50K a year you are spending too much
______________________________________________________________________

That is only if you get to take home that much!!!!
That 50K salary you were speaking of is actually 30K take home and then tack on that most have to pay to commute so that has to come off the top before anything else. I don't know where you live; but, bring home less than $30K this day and time (and it being the only paycheck) is just barely getting by with only necessities (groceries, roof over head,water and heat)

James

March 2nd, 2010
10:46 am

Sherman, remember folks in public service already make considerably less than their counterparts in the private sector. With across the board salary cuts that you have proposed, I can assure you many will be out the door and on to greener pastures. You get what you pay for.

Either Georgia citizens are willing to pay for what services they receive (tax increase) or there are services they do not want (eliminate services, offices and related positions).

Anything else the same tired mantra of do less with more which leads to doing everything with nothing. No sane businessman would run a business into the ground like that.

Raise taxes or cut services and positions or a combination of both.

A Crying Shame

March 3rd, 2010
7:28 am

Comments on the State IT changes are right on. The change was made to line pockets of special friends. An investigation is long overdue and should be completed as soon as possible. Now these contract entities own all the computer and telecommunications equipment in the state. If they go away, there will be no equipment for the state workers to use. It is a royal mess.

Nadine Crumpton

March 4th, 2010
4:23 pm

Here’s an idea! As my husband and I have both currently been furloughed because there’s not enough state money to pay our salaries, why don’t we begin furloughing welfare recipents? A day a month for 6 or say 12 months and lets see what kind of savings we have. And as far as that goes, while we are going through hiring processes, we are required to drug test before we can work, lets drug test our welfare recipents before they can get their checks and NOT WORK!

FYI

March 6th, 2010
10:53 am

If you had to deal with the SOS Office while she was in charge of it, NO WAY you would vote for her!!!!!!

Sorry excuse for an organization! I’m sure they could stand a few lay-offs and the few left could do a better job!

Specifically in the Professional Licensing Division. Today’s technology should allow applicant’s to fill out an application ON-LINE!!!!!! This would at least cut the data entry of the incompetent!

FYI

March 6th, 2010
10:54 am

No jobs should have to be cut – we have all suffered enough!

Raise taxes or One cent Sales Tax…… do not target just one group!

Justine

March 8th, 2010
10:03 am

WHAT THE STATE SHOULD DO IS STOP GIVING TAX BREAKS TO BUSINESSES. I guarantee you the tax breaks given to NCR, Kia, Delta and other businesses is at least equal to the shortfall. Most importantly, the jobs these companies have either created or mainted is less than the number of people recently laid off.

It is also sad that companies are allowed to keep state income tax monies collected (NCR) This means the state will have a shortfall because most people get a return which the state will have to find from somewhere.