Florida Workforce and the Budget Crisis of 2009

The Florida Legislature is considering cutting every state worker's salary by 5%. Let's put that in some context. In the 2008 Grading the States, here'...
by | March 25, 2009

The Florida Legislature is considering cutting every state worker's salary by 5%. Let's put that in some context. In the 2008 Grading the States, here's what Governing wrote about Florida:

Florida spends little on its workforce as a whole, ranking last in the nation in per capita spending on state personnel. State training dollars as a percentage of total salary also are among the lowest in the country -- 0.89 percent.

I've got an article coming out in Governing soon that examines the upsides and downsides of various types of personnel expenditure reductions--furloughs, pay cuts, layoffs, etc. -- that state and local governments have been using to weather their budget crises. There's an argument to be made that each type of reduction fits best for particular situations.

Given Florida's already low personnel spending and the fact that the state has been particularly hard hit by the housing downturn, which is likely putting even greater demand on state services, I'm stumped about which type of cut Florida would be best advised to make, if they have to make a workforce expense reduction. Of course, many in the state are arguing that they shouldn't be making that cut in the first place.

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Will Wilson  |  Former Correspondent
willbwilson@gmail.com  | 

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