Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2010

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2010

FTE Assumptions

Chapter 29, Section 6 states that "The operating budget shall indicate the number of positions proposed to be authorized for each state agency or such other public instrumentality for the ensuing fiscal year, the number of positions for each state agency in the current and ensuing fiscal years and such other information as may be held to explain the anticipated results of the proposed expenditures".

To address this requirement, the House 1 recommendations include employee counts summarized at the Government area level. Additional detail is included throughout the Budget Recommendations to indicate the employee level within specific departments.

Beginning in FY09, A&F and the Human Resources Division have worked together to implement clear policies surrounding employees. In the fall, A&F engaged each agency in a spending plan process in which each account was evaluated to determine how funds would be spent for the current fiscal year. This requires a detailed description of employees for the current year - including those currently on staff, positions that are open and intended to be filled and new positions for which funding is available. Since this review was conducted in the fall of 2008 when it became apparent that the state revenues were declining from original assumptions, A&F was able to set employee limits or "caps" to restrict hiring and spending on new staff. The goals of the employee caps and the subsequent review of all employee spending are to:

  • Restrain Growth in State Employee Levels - Since payroll is a large portion of many agency expenditures, and reductions in force can take so long that savings cannot be realized, caps are needed to restrain hiring. Although some hiring may have small costs for the current year, the full year value of new staff have budget impacts that must be considered.
  • Mitigate Shifts to Other Funding Sources - Employees come onto the state payroll several ways including the operating budget (FTEs and contractors), the capital budget, federal grants and trusts. All sources are carefully reviewed to ensure we are maintaining compliance with employment laws and also to ensure that we are not using one time sources to pay for ongoing costs.
  • Manage Overtime Costs - Although hiring restrictions are important, overtime costs must be considered to ensure that proper staffing levels are maintained for public health and safety where responsibilities are 24 hours / 7 days per week. Oftentimes, the savings of FTE restrictions are simply shifted to higher overtime. Therefore prudent management of both overtime and staffing levels must be evaluated.

It was estimated that the 9C reductions taken in October 2008 would impact approximately 1,000 employees across the Commonwealth including layoffs, delayed hiring or leaving positions open. To date, the Human Resources Division has reported a reduction in force of over 350 FTEs since July. FTE reductions to meet the caps set by A&F are still being implemented by Agencies in order to restrain spending within reduced budget levels.

The FY10 House 1 budget recommendations provide funding for 70,259 FTEs across state government. Although this appears to be an increase from FY09 and our current employee counts, an adjustment must be considered. The House 1 recommendations include line items for the 7 Sheriffs Departments that are currently County Departments. Bringing these departments and their staff onto the state system accounts for an additional 2,958 employees requiring, totals to be adjusted to complete a true comparison. The total FTEs adjusted for Sheriffs is 67,301, or a decrease of 1,282 from January 2009 employee levels.

Historical Employment Levels
Government Area June FY2006 June FY2007 June FY2008 Jan. FY2009 Projected FY2010
Judiciary 7,630 7,993 8,021 7,955 7,373
Independents 6,775 7,101 7,415 7,389 9,896*
Administration and Finance 2,917 2,778 2,901 2,905 2,937
Energy & Environmental Affairs 2,201 2,168 2,236 2,222 2,265
Health and Human Services 21,055 21,117 21,496 21,185 20,649
Transportation 1,078 1,087 1,245 1,207 1,221
Housing & Economic Development 581 610 650 637 732
Labor & Workforce Development 323 320 307 316 463
Education 13,374 13,790 13,784 15,110 14,930
Public Safety 8,430 8,457 8,627 8,623 8,732
Legislature 1,076 1,062 1,047 1,035 1,062
Total 65,439 66,483 67,729 68,583 70,259
Total (Adjusted for Sheriffs)         67,301

In reviewing the reductions needed to live within fiscal year 2010 available funding, each agency will be required to critically evaluate their employee level and determine if a reduction in this area is needed to maintain a balanced budget. The Administration continues to evaluate employee levels and has instituted strict caps for each Secretariat in fiscal year 2009 in an effort to constrain spending and growth, which are being routinely monitored.

Comparisons to Adjusted FTEs
  # %
Variance to Jan. FY09 Levels -1,282 -1.9%
Variance to Jan. FY08 Levels -428 -0.6%
Variance to Jan. FY07 Levels 818 1.2%
Variance to Jan. FY06 Levels 1,862 2.8%

There are, however, some areas that should be considered when making historical employee comparisons such as:
  • Prior Year Targeted Investments - During the course of the Patrick Administration, specific investments have been made that require more staff. Some examples of these include of these investments would include implementation of the Beaches Commission recommendation; the implementation of regulations passed in FY08 for a Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative; enhancements to our tax enforcements unit at the Department of Revenue; and a class of Corrections Officers at our Department of Corrections to help alleviate high overtime expenses.
  • Contractor / Capital Conversions - Given the cost associated with paying for employees from capital funds and the renewed focus on wage enforcement efforts, every effort continues to be made to convert contract employees to full-time equivalents, and to transfer employees onto the operating budget. Along with conversions that have already been made, H.1 includes an outside section that allows for certain capital and operating costs to be exchanged so that appropriate operating dollars spent on capital needs can be shifted to the capital budget and vice versa. This section will have an impact on our budgeted employee level but it should be noted that these are not new state employees, they are just new to the operating budget.
  • Information Technology Realignments - Because of an initiative to transfer all information technology employees to secretariats, those employees that have routinely been funding from off-budget sources are being transferred into Intragovernmental Service Fund accounts where they will report to staff at the secretariat-level, but continue to be paid from the off-budget sources. This represents an "increase" of nearly 300 FTEs on the overall totals.
  • Other Considerations - Like all departments, the non-executive branch agencies will be working to evaluate impacts on employees. Additionally, because funding at the Higher Education campuses comes from various sources, some employee impacts may be mitigated. Additionally, certain FTE increases due to compliance with legal settlements and to address needs around public health and safety must be considered.

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