Clever Jersey Devil
Wondering what the next governor of California can do to gain the upper hand on the Golden State’s bloated bureaucracy?
He (or she) could start by keeping a close eye on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Facing an $11 billion state budget deficit (about one-half of California’s $20 billion shortfall, Christie reportedly is considering invoking Jersey’s Disaster Control Act to suspend the state’s Civil Service rule. That would make it easier for the newly elected Republican to lay off higher paid state workers.
Christie also is creating a task force to privatize as many as 2,000 state jobs (out of a 70,000-job workforce), beginning next January — his 17th executive order since taking office.
Why the delay until 2011? It allows Christie to get around a deal cut by the man he defeated last November — ex-Gov. Jon Corzine — giving remaining state workers a raise should there be a government RIF. Under that deal, some New Jersey state workers will receive raises of up to 11%.
So what’s on the table, to be privatized? Most anything it seems, except for state troopers and toll roads, which Christie ruled out at a press conference earlier today.
btw, Corzine also invoked the Disaster Control Act back in 2006, amidst a budget impasse. But only “non-essential” state workers were laid off, only to be promptly hired back once a budget deal was cut — and paid for their time off.
As for balancing the state budget, Christie will unveil that plan next Tuesday.