Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fiscal Crisis? What Fiscal Crisis?

Governor Patrick seems determined the lower the state’s unemployment rate all by himself – at least when it comes to the public sector.

An analysis of the state payroll conducted by the Boston Herald shows that in 2009, the Patrick Administration engaged in a “hiring frenzy that has watchdogs questioning whether the governor has a tight grip on hiring in the face of a dire fiscal crisis.”

According to the Herald, the Administration has “filled more than 1,300 state jobs this year,” including 20 positions that pay $100,000 or more. The hirings account for $46 million in state spending between January and November, the Herald notes.

The Administration’s half-hearted attempts to defend the new hires included a statement indicating that 236 of the employees cited in the Herald review have since been laid off, which begs the question: why, in the midst of a serious fiscal crisis, were these workers even hired in the first place?

If anything, the Herald expose proves that it’s well past time for Governor Patrick to accept the Senate and House Republicans’ calls for an immediate statewide hiring freeze.