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Idaho gov aims to cut 458 jobs from government

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Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s budget chief outlined plans to cut 458 jobs from state government in fiscal year 2011 as part of his plan to trim spending.

Wayne Hammon told the Joint Finance-Appropriations budget committee Thursday said 637 full-time positions are currently vacant, out of about 18,000 total state jobs.

He determined more than half of those could be eliminated, because they’d been long vacant and weren’t likely to be filled soon.

Not all positions on the chopping block are empty, though. Twenty-five jobs would be axed from the Department of Parks and Recreation in Otter’s plan to eliminate the agency and shift park oversight to the Department of Lands.

Hammon says he worked with agencies to avoid hurting critical services and tried, for instance, to preserve Department of Health and Welfare case workers and Idaho Tax Commission auditors.

But he concedes, “I will not tell you they all agreed with the final decision we made.”

© 2010 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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