Alabama State Dept. of Agriculture announces layoffs - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Alabama State Dept. of Agriculture announces layoffs

From the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries

MONTGOMERYLayoff notices went out this week to 17 employees in the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries with more to come next week.

Agriculture & Industries Commissioner John McMillan met personally with several laid-off employees and plans to meet with more.

"Since coming into this office in January, we have been candid and open with employees that the Department of Agriculture & Industries is in poor fiscal health," McMillan said. "We live in extraordinary times when government at all levels is low on funding. Our situation is no different."

With 15% proration, McMillan said Agriculture & Industries' share of the General Fund means a cut of $2.3 million immediately. The Department faces another $4.7 million cut for the 2012 fiscal year.

"It's deeply troubling, but we have had no other choice but to reduce staff," McMillan said. "The 17 employees notified today are the first round of reductions. There will be more layoffs next week and a third round soon thereafter."

Laid-off employees will be on the Department payroll through April.

"We further anticipate passage of furlough legislation that will enable us to minimize the number of layoffs in 2012 while meeting our budget obligations," McMillan added.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries is responsible for protecting the safety of the state's food supply and is the regulatory agency for the state's $5 billion agriculture and agribusinesses industries.

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