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The “Great Recession” <br />The Economic Recession that began in December 2007 required state-wide spending cuts and actions to fill a revenue gap of $4.4 billion. This was accomplished by: <br />•Use of Federal Stimulus Funds <br />•Use of Cash Fund Reserves <br />•New fees and fee increases <br />•Reductions in personnel expenses with <br />–A hiring freeze <br />–Suspension of salary increases <br />–Furloughs <br />–Reduction of State contributions to the pension program, by requiring employees to provide an additional contribution of 2.5% of salary to P.E.R.A. <br />–Staff reductions <br />•Targeted and across-the-board reductions in operating expenses