Lawmakers direct Lamont: Save less, fill vacant state jobs – The Connecticut Mirror

by | May 10, 2022 | Jobs

As projected state employee retirements surged again Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a new budget that will encourage agencies to fill positions quickly.

Nearly 4,200 employees have either retired since Jan. 1 or filed their written intentions to do so before July 1, Comptroller Natalie Braswell’s office reported. That’s up 9% from the retirement tally released less than two weeks ago.

That number is projected to keep growing over the next seven weeks, after which more stringent limits on state worker retirement benefits, negotiated as part of a 2017 union concessions package, take effect.

With many legislators and union leaders saying state agencies and departments face a staffing crisis, lawmakers built a new safeguard into the budget to ensure hiring remains a priority — because keeping positions open to save money has been a hallmark of the Lamont administration.

The legislature routinely orders the governor to find millions of dollars in savings once the fiscal year is underway. The new budget sets a savings target of $140 million.

Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Rep. Toni E. Walker, D-New Haven, the co-chairs of the Appropriations Committee, added policy language this year prohibiting the administration from reducing any departmental budgets as long as the state is in the black.

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