Indiana To Start Using Prison Labor To Replace Government Workers Due To Coronavirus Budget Cuts

Indiana continues to bleed tax revenue from their self imposed shutdown. Now the state budget director is grasping for remedies which includes using prison labor to replace state government workers.

The 10-page memo from State Budget Director Zac Jackson says the coronavirus pandemic is financially squeezing Indiana from both ends, by requiring significant increases in some government services, such as health care, while sharply reducing state tax revenue due to higher unemployment and reduced economic activity.

Jackson said the combination of those factors is putting a “significant strain on state resources” that demands every state agency, and the more than 31,500 state employees, economize and scrimp wherever possible to maximize spending reductions.

According to the memo, state agencies now only are permitted to hire employees with the consent of a Strategic Hiring Committee that will approve a new hire solely if filling the position is essential to addressing the COVID-19 health emergency.
Agencies also should minimize overtime expenses, limit use of outside contractors, eliminate paid internships, encourage telework to reduce office space and parking needs, and seek opportunities to use prison inmate labor to reduce costs wherever possible, the memo says.


Published by Hoosier Econ

Located out of Central Indiana. Blogger of economics, politics and societal trends.

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