If you are benefitting from a professional or technical contract with the state, your funding could be cut. Dayton says we can cut half of the $850 million we spend every two years on state contracts.
He may or may not have a point. But you’ll never know it from his budget plan.
State contracts are used for a variety of things including road and bridge design, computer consulting and even arts instruction at the Perpich Center for the Arts – basically, any skill that the state doesn’t usually keep on its inventory of elite uniononized employees.
Of course, Dayton doesn’t specify which half of state contractors we can live without. Because most of the contracting is for work that actually needs to get done, by a person who is qualified to do the job.
Need a big, high-traffic bridge built? The MNDOT doesn’t keep a big bridge design department on staff – because it’s not like the Dept. of Transportation is constantly building new bridges. You need a bridge designed and built? Hire a temp – or a “contractor”, as they’re called.
If the state needs to build a new website for vehicle tab info and renewals (hint hint), and they need to make it usable by a multiethnic, polylingual population? The State of Minnesota doesn’t employ User Experience Architects (that’s what I do), because they don’t need ’em every day; they contract ’em out.
Building a road? Remodeling a state building? Transferring data from an old database to a new one? Analyzing the market for a government service? Anything the state doesn’t normally do, day in, day out? They hire “temps”, contractors – construction workers, dry-wall contractors, database analysts, researchers – to do the job.
Democrats endorsed by government employee unions typically go after state contracts because they take jobs away from union members, not because we’re spending too much. Is Dayton planning to actually cut these contracts or does he want government employees to do the work instead?
The simple fact is, shifting contract work to state employees may very well cost more, not less. At the very least, it’s not a cut, merely a shift (unless Dayton, AFSCME, MAPE and the SEIU really think there are that many underutilized state employees out there…) blowing a $425 million hole in Dayton’s budget plan.
Coming up at 11AM: Dayton kills tax cuts for (private) job creation!
Check out the Dayton Budget “Plan” for yourself! Find another howler? Leave it in the comments!