Hobbs Implements State Agency Hiring Freeze via a ‘Head Count Cap’

Governor Hobbs has ordered a hiring freeze for new state employees and instructed her department heads to send her a plan this week to cut $1.2 billion in spending out of their current and coming year budgets. That’s a 4% cut for the remainder of this fiscal year and a 2% reduction for next year.

The letter reportedly sets out a “headcount cap” for agencies like the Ducey administration did that will allow agencies to replace employee losses but not to fill currently vacant posts.

It’s unclear at this point how strict the hiring freeze will be and how easy it will be to get exemptions.

Editorial Note: ADHS desperately needs exemptions from the new policy for their licensing division, which is responsible for ensuring quality care in assisted living, skilled nursing, behavioral health facilities and the like. We have written extensively about the poor history the agency had during Christ and Herrington’s tenure – with a core reason for the poor performance the lack of inspectors. A hiring freeze would devastate their efforts to get licensing back on track.

Same goes for staffing at the Arizona State Hospital.

I’ll give another week or two to the administration before we begin advocacy to protect licensing and the state hospital from this new hiring freeze which would definitely jeopardize care at the Arizona State Hospital damage the Department’s ability to improve their licensing division’s performance.

See: Licensing & Regulating Care Facilities: A Root Cause Analysis of Arizona’s Failure to Protect Vulnerable Persons & Pathway to Redemption

More oversight is needed at the Arizona State Hospital, critics say

How The Republic reported on resident harm in senior living facilities

Report: The Arizona State Hospital lacking staff, treatment options

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