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Monday, September 28, 2009

Governor Waives Hiring Freeze 71 Times in 2008

Annual cost $3.9 million. 25 waivers denied, saving $1 million a year

(Concord) A new report from the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy shows that Governor John Lynch approved 71 waivers to the hiring freeze he imposed between February and June of last year, at a cost of nearly $3.9 million per year. The waiver committee set up by Governor Lynch denied 25 requests in that time, saving just over $1 million per year. The report shows that a summary of FY08 waivers submitted to the Legislative Fiscal Committee last week understates both the number and the cost of the waivers granted.

"When Governor Lynch put in this hiring freeze a year and a half ago, he was right to maintain flexibility in filling critical positions," said Lead Investigator Grant Bosse, who authored the report. "But he was also right to require public notice when the freeze was waived. It's important for policy makers to have accurate information, and we're glad to provide this data in preparation for tomorrow's meeting of the Legislative Fiscal Committee."

Under the terms of Executive Order 2008-01, Governor Lynch may grant exceptions to the hiring freeze if he gives notice to the Fiscal Committee. The Department of Administrative Services supplied data on FY09 last month, but had not released any detailed information from the prior year until last week. The Josiah Bartlett Center has found 71 total waivers costing $484,000 in FY08. Bosse calculates the positions will add $3,878,000 to the state's annual payroll. These are in addition to the 352 waivers granted in FY09.

Read the full report

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy is a free market think tank based in Concord, New Hampshire. For more information go to www.jbartlett.org.

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