With $4 billion dollars lacking in Florida’s budget, the state began laying off employees and requiring workers to pay into their own pension plan for the first time in 37 years. In all, 1,600 people were given pink slips, with thousands more expected to follow in coming months as counties and the state feel the budget tightening measures pass throughout the state. Another 562,000 employees had to start paying into their pensions for the first time.
Of the affected organizations is the South Florida Water Management District, which is in charge of everglade restoration and flood prevention measures. To assist in cutting $252 million dollars from the budget they 123 employees severance packages. On Thursday judges also refused union’s attempts to block a measure to make teacher’s pay 3% of their wages into their retirement plans.
State officials continue looking for ways to curb costs and reduce unnecessary expenditures. To do so task forces have been developed to analyze efforts and prevent duplication efforts from state agencies. Cuts are expected to continue.