Walker announces state hiring, travel freeze

New restrictions on state of Alaska hiring and employee travel were announced Tuesday. Gov. Bill Walker said the restrictions formalize what many state agencies and departments are already doing to cut costs.

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“The travel is for restrictions on nonessential. An example would be a conference someplace that has to go through a process to get approval. There is a waiver process for that, but it has to be associated with the travel, has to be associated with what you do.”

For example, Walker said essential travel would include a district attorney flying to a location for a trial. Essential travel also still includes employees who need out-of-state training to maintain job credentials, although there will be a review process.

Boards and commissions are being asked to limit in-person meetings to once a year.

Walker called this the “second wave of hiring restrictions,” noting there are 600 fewer state employees than a year ago. Many of those positions were cut through attrition as employees retired. Now, no new full or part-time state positions will be added without approval.

The new restrictions are effective immediately.