Share Cuts All Over NashvilleIt has been made public in Nashville that part of Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen's ever-delayed budget proposal that 757 State jobs are going to be cut, and well over 600 currently-vacant positions are going to be eliminated:
The Democratic governor's proposal would eliminate 717 filled positions and another 656 vacant jobs.
State Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz told lawmakers Wednesday that laid off employees will be offered a severance package to include two years worth of tuition at state colleges and money to help defray the cost of extending their health insurance coverage.
Obviously, no one should take joy at the thought of a dedicated worker losing their job-I certainly don't, especially in the economic climate in which we find ourselves. However, I can't say that I am seething with displeasure at the prospect of State Government actually shrinking. If positions are not necessary, the taxpayers simply should not have to pay for them.
Furthermore, the slashing of State Government ought not be confined merely to the executive branch. Earlier this year, we learned about how the Democrats (thanks to Kent Williams) still get one secretary each, whereas Republican House members still share a secretary for each two members. In the name of cutting costs, why can't the Democrats also share secretaries? If this system is good enough for one political party, it ought to be good enough for the both of them. In this time of economic trouble for everyone, and even shortage and scarcity, the General Assembly should not be immune to making the same sacrifices that many of the people which its members serve also find themselves having to make.