State Capitol News
9:22 am
Fri February 22, 2008

Napolitano signs off on hiring freeze

Phoenix, AZ – Under pressure from state lawmakers, Governor Janet Napolitano
ordered a freeze on most state hiring. Arizona Public Radio's
Howard Fischer reports.

In a letter Thursday to state agency chiefs, the governor
directed them to stop filling vacancies except those vital to
public health and safety or to collecing and investing state
revenues. Departments also can seek exemption for -- quote --
mission critical positions. That's virtually the same language
approved just 24 hours earlier by the House, with even some
Democrats joining with Republicans. Rep. Bob Robson, who crafted
the legislation, said he's pleased. But Robson said he's not
going to drop his bill, at least not yet. Part of the reason is
that the governor's order covers only hiring. His measure also
bans promotions.

(Hopefully she'll follow along with that as well. Becuase it puts
added strain and stress on the system. I think literally what
we're trying to do now is create a level of state government,
also recognize that anything we do can affect the overall
budget.)

The other difference is Napolitano's order covers only agencies
under her control. The big thing that doesn't include is the
billion-dollar state university system. But Christine Thompson a
lobbyist for the Board of Regents said the panel is meeting next
month and the issue -- quote -- will be a topic on the agenda.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.