Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday provided an end-of-the-year update on the Road to a Billion Dollars in Savings, the state’s long-term effort to identify greater efficiencies and cost savings in government. In the update, the Governor said the state has identified more than $750 million in current and projected savings, and could halt the implementation of a voluntary retirement incentive program.
When the plan was initially announced in July, the state projected a savings of $674 million. The additional savings come through measures such as bond refinancings, contract renegotiations and workforce right-sizing. The savings, along with additional state employee retirements in recent months, are reducing the immediate need for a proposed voluntary retirement incentive program.
Governor Bentley is asking legislative sponsors of the voluntary retirement incentive program to withhold introduction of the legislation until further notice. The money saved through these measures will go to fund the state’s education budget and the General Fund.
“One of our goals is to right-size the state government’s workforce while saving taxpayer dollars. We are already accomplishing that goal as more people have chosen to go ahead and retire before the incentive could be discussed in the Legislature,” Governor Bentley said. “That means we are getting the right-sizing accomplished without having to pay the cash bonuses called for in the retirement incentive legislation. If attrition continues at recent levels, we can achieve significant savings without the need for the legislation.”