New state jobs not in the works - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

New state jobs not in the works

Linda Lingle Linda Lingle
Brennon Morioka Brennon Morioka

New state jobs not in the works

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Looking for work with the state? There is bad news as new jobs have been put on hold after Governor Lingle freezes all vacancies.

It all has to do with the tough economic times we're in.It affects almost every department in some way, including this one -- the Department of Transportation.

In a memo sent out to all state department heads on Tuesday, Governor Lingle cautioned them to tighten up their budgets. That after general fund tax revenues fell short by more than half of what they expected.

"The department and I think all departments are re-looking at the way we do business, no longer business as usual and so we need to figure out ways, how to save money and also use the taxpayers money a little wiser," Department of Transportation director Brennan Morioka said.

But some legislators say the governor's decision is too drastic.

"I'm concerned that the governor is taking a flat approach whereas the legislature when it made its cuts, did a more surgical approach," State senator Rosalyn Baker said.

Lingle discouraged departments from implementing new programs, along with buying new equipment, software, computers and vehicles.

"We always look how to do things more efficiently and how we can improve our programs on long-term maintenance and extending the life of our pavement, our roads," Morioka said.

To control labor costs, Lingle also froze all current and future jobs.

"We don't want government policies to be that self-fulfilling prophecy," Baker said. "We know that we have some difficult economic times, we can get through it, if we all work together."

On Wednesday, the council on revenues plan to talk about the possibility of steeper cuts.

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