Gov. Richards suspends executive branch hiring

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By Special to the Monitor

SANTA FE – Gov. Bill Richardson recently announced he is suspending all Executive Branch hiring for the remainder of the year.
Gov. Richardson is suspending all hiring during the transition.
He will leave office Dec. 31 and the administration of Gov.-elect Susana Martinez will take over in the New Year.
“We took decisive action two years ago to severely restrict hiring, which has shrunk state government by more than 2,000 employees and saved tens of millions of dollars,” Governor Richardson said. “However, in an effort to work with Governor-Elect, I am suspending all hiring during the transition.”
Gov. Richardson created a more restrictive hiring process in fall 2009 at the start of the economic recession.
The Governor took away the ability of state agencies to hire new employees without justification.
Agency heads during the past two years have been required to justify a critical need and get approval from the State Personnel Office and the Department of Finance and Administration for each new hire.
The finance department said 25,000 employees were on the payroll when the hiring freeze began. 
In the last pay period, 23, 554 people worked for the state.
From now on, Executive Branch agencies will not be allowed to hire new employees.
NOTE: The Associated Press contributed to this story.