Assemblywoman Addie Russell: Revelations about a ‘Shadow State Workforce’ are Outrageous

Elimination of temporary agency workers would save taxpayers millions and help close budget gap
January 15, 2010

“Between April 2008 and November 2009, more than $62 million was spent on contracts for various temporary agency workers. The executive branch has been exploiting a loophole to hire people during its own hiring freeze. In this severe economic downturn, this is simply unacceptable. The Department of Health alone hired hundreds of these temporary agency workers.

“To have outside workers performing jobs that can – and should – be done by existing employees is a complete waste of state money, an expense New York cannot afford in our current condition. I have been calling for the closure of this loophole for months and I am shocked at the extent to which it has been abused.

“To mislead New Yorkers into thinking there is a hiring freeze and then pad the payroll is outrageous. I am calling for public hearings, and I look forward to this spring’s budget hearings, when state agency heads can detail use of outside employment agencies so we can get to the bottom of this problem. New York State cannot afford to waste a single dollar more on this shadow state workforce.”