STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ANNOUNCES LAYOFFS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The first of three rounds of layoffs hit the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries this week as 17 employees received layoff notices, Commissioner John McMillan announced today.
|Commissioner John McMillan|
McMillan, who had previously warned that strong austerity measures were likely in the face of the state's budget cuts, said more layoffs will come next week and a third round soon after.
"Since coming into this office in January, we have been candid and open with employees that the Department of Agriculture & Industries is in poor fiscal health," McMillan said after meeting personally laid-off employees. "We live in extraordinary times when government at all levels is low on funding. Our situation is no different."
With 15 percent proration, McMillan said the department's share of the general fund means an immediate cut of $2.3 million with another $4.7 million cut likely for the 2012 fiscal year.
"It's deeply troubling, but we have had no other choice but to reduce staff," McMillan said, adding that laid-off employees will be on the department payroll through April.
"We further anticipate passage of furlough legislation that will enable us to minimize the number of layoffs in 2012 while meeting our budget obligations," McMillan added.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries is responsible for protecting the safety of the state's food supply and is the regulatory agency for the state's $5 billion agriculture and agribusinesses industries.