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Gov. Pence Avoiding Layoffs While Cutting 200 State Employees
Updated February 25, 2016 4:55 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Gov. Mike Pence's administration is looking to reduce the number of state employees by about 200 - but not through layoffs.

Niki Kelly of the The Journal Gazette reports, Micah Vincent, director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget, called the move a recalibration and said it would be achieved through attrition.

State government has about a 10 percent turnover rate annually, so some positions won't be refilled while others could be combined.

Vincent said Pence has always used the headcount of employees when he arrived - 27,197 - as a guidepost for his administration.

But in recent months, that number has grown by about 200.

Last year, the administration announced the hiring of more than 200 Department of Child Services caseworkers, but Vincent said those positions won't be touched.

The headcount generally covers only executive-branch agencies that Pence controls. For instance, it doesn't include employees of the Indiana Department of Education or other statewide office holders, the judiciary or the legislature.

Vincent has instructed agencies to start focusing on reducing their staffs but said no one will be laid off.

He described the caution on employee numbers as a best-practice management tool.

"When your headcount grows, it binds your resources," Vincent said. "It's a lot harder to make quick operational decisions when you are looking at salaries."

He stressed that the move isn't related to specific concerns about tax revenue or operations.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels, when he left office, touted that Indiana had the fewest state employees per capita in the country and fewer state employees than in 1976. In January 2005, when he took office, there were more over 35,000 executive-branch employees; when he left, there were about 28,000.

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