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Nearly 600 layoffs part of budget cut plan

Gov. Tim Kaine’s package of budget cuts includes 593 state employee layoffs, according to a news release from the governor’s office today.

The plan calls for elimination of more than 900 state positions to help cover a $1.35 billion budget shortfall for FY2010.

At a press conference announcing the cuts, Kaine said they apply only to executive branches and not to the legislature, the judiciary or the State Corporation Commission. Those agencies have been cooperative in the past to requests for austerity — the judiciary took a $5 million hit this year — and may take some actions on their own.

“There’s no question we remain in the midst of the toughest economy in a generation,” Kaine said.  “But we also remain confident that Virginia will weather the storm and emerge stronger than ever before.”

The budget cuts include reductions of 13 or 15 percent for higher education and a one-day furlough for state workers on the Friday before Memorial Day next year.

By Peter Vieth

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