Are deeper budget cuts coming for struggling state and local governments? After a year filled with tough news regarding furlough days and more belt tightening, technology executives across the nation are pondering that question. Even as good news was announced yesterday regarding the unemployment rate falling to 10% in November, the holiday season remains focused on plans for 2010.
Stateline.org ran an article entitled: After furloughs, states mull permanent cuts. Here's an excerpt:
"Moving from furloughs of state employees to more permanent downsizing, states are girding for the deepest workforce cuts yet when they hammer out their fiscal 2011 budgets next year. In preparation, many are taking stock of every position in state government to determine what effect job cuts and the possible elimination of whole departments will have on revenues, expenses and the quality of government services."
The report goes on to list state by state cuts already implemented in 2009 (fiscal year 2010).
We all know that tax revenues lag economic recovery, so how long will the budget cutting last? Some are predicting that state revenues will be down for several more years, leading to significant changes ahead for government IT departments. Cutting corners will no longer do. We need to be transforming state technology workforces.
What is Michigan doing? One activity has been offsite scenario planning - based on various budget levels and assumptions. The February 2010 issue of Public CIO Magazine will have an article by me that describes this activity in detail.
So what are you doing in your state or local government regarding budget cuts and/or resource allocation? How are you setting technology priorities and determining core business functions and services in these tough times? I'd love to hear some stories that you can share.