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Posted at 11:29 AM ET, 01/10/2011

Nearly 1,400 state workers apply for Md. buyout

By John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for O'Malley measures.jpgNearly 1,400 Maryland state employees have applied for a voluntary buyout program, according to Gov. Martin O'Malley's office.

O'Malley invited state workers last month to participate in the "voluntary separation program" as part of a strategy to whittle down a looming budget shortfall of about $1.3 billion. As of last week's deadline, 1,395 employees had filed an application. Workers have until the end of the week to change their minds.

The number of employees filing is shy of a goal of 1,500 floated by O'Malley. But the response has the potential to yield "significant savings .. while helping to avoid massive layoffs," said O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec.

Adamec estimated the program could save roughly $40 million next year.

Eligible state workers who participate in the "voluntary separation program" will receive a lump-sum payment of $15,000, another $200 for each year of service and three months of health benefits.

As Maryland has grappled with budget shortfalls in previous years, state employees have been subject to furloughs and temporary salary reductions. About 4,200 state positions have also been eliminated, according to O'Malley's office.

By John Wagner  | January 10, 2011; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Governor, John Wagner, Maryland State Budget  
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Council to hold retreat at resort outside county:

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina in Cambridge. The Prince George's County Council is spending $10,000 to $15,000 for a two-night retreat on the Eastern Shore this week.
Ingrid Turner, chairwoman of the County Council, said she chose to spend more money on this year's retreat, even as the county faces a $77 million shortfall next fiscal year, to help council members avoid distractions.

"We wanted to be able to focus," she explained, "and if you get far enough away where you're not getting the day-to-day calls, you can really focus and concentrate."

Ingrid Turner thinks they don't have phones on the Eastern Shore. Is Ingrid Turner one of Jack Johnson's girlfriends? Hey Prince George's County Taxpayers; what do you think of you government now?

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | January 10, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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