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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Unions reject furloughs: Governor seeks ag inspection alternatives
By Letters to the Editor @ 1:08 PM :: 6602 Views :: Agriculture, Labor

by Marc Miranda

The  Administration's preference has been furloughs rather than layoffs to make up the budget shortfall. If the furlough plan was implemented there would be less impact on such things as plant inspections by Ag Inspectors for instance.  We remain hopeful that we will be able to implement furloughs, but had no choice but to institute the layoff process given the resistance of  public union leaders in the collective bargaining process.

Layoffs had to focus on those Departments directly under the Governor's control that have positions funded by general funds.  This eliminated our ability to institute layoffs in the DOE, UH, Judiciary or legislative branches.  Also specially funded depts such as DHHL and DCCA are not subject to layoffs.  As a result more layoffs, if this is the option we are forced to use, will be concentrated in Department such as DBEDT and Department of Agriculture.

State Government  cannot afford to look or be the same.  We need to find new ways to do the tasks that were once performed.  We want to explore with the Agriculture industry options such as third-party certification, self certification, and random sampling. 

We are  and will continually be open to recommendations from the industry and concerned individuals.

Marc Miranda
Governor's Liaison East Hawaii - Hilo
Office of the Governor - State of Hawaii
75 Aupuni St.
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
808-974-6262 (Office), 808-974-6263 (Fax)
Email:
marc.miranda@hawaii.gov

RELATED:

Layoffs: Testimony AgitProp sought by Senators on Isle impacts

We think it is clearly worth the effort to go to the Big Island and hear from the people who will be directly impacted by the proposed reductions in services," Senate President Colleen Hanabusa said in a statement. "Agriculture is a primary industry on the Big Island. What effect will the staffing cuts have on the long-term viability of the industry and our exports? And for those who have concerns about the Kulani prisoners, how are their concerns being addressed? The answers are in the community."

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