The Palm Beach Post

Florida expected to lay off 1,600 state workers as new budget year begins Friday
The Globe And Mail

Pink slips are going out to more than 1,600 state workers by Friday, the human toll of the austere spending plan approved by lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott this spring.

Facing a nearly $4 billion budget deficit, the legislature cut thousands of jobs, froze hiring and forced state workers to contribute 3 percent of their salaries to their pension plans in the 2011-2012 budget year that begins Friday. Meanwhile, Scott continues to look for ways to shrink government spending.

The Department of Children and Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice will suffer most of the staff cuts. DCF is laying off 679 employees, including at least five in Palm Beach County, and DJJ is trimming 706, including at least three Palm Beach County workers.

Most of the cuts were the result of shutting down facilities, including two state hospitals in North Florida, where business and civic leaders on Tuesday unveiled a web-based clearinghouse to help jobless government employees find work, pay the bills and deal with the emotional trauma of being laid off.