State to offer early retirement to thousands to close budget shortfall; layoffs possible


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BOSTON — A top administration official says Gov. Charlie Baker plans to file legislation that would allow thousands of state employees to retire early, and if that doesn't work, the state may resort to layoffs.

Baker's budget chief Kristen Lepore tells The Boston Globe ( ) the administration projects that 4,500 will take advantage of the early retirement program if it is passed by the Legislature, saving $178 million in the fiscal year starting in July.

Baker is scheduled to submit his state budget request to the Legislature on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a watchdog group, has pegged the expected shortfall between revenues and spending required to maintain current program levels at $1.5 billion.

The Legislature recently approved a plan to close an estimated $768 million shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Information from: The Boston Globe,

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