State Agencies Feeling the Freeze

Reported by: Associated Press

State agencies from health care to higher education are seeking relief from Governor Bobby Jindal's employee hiring freeze.

Fred Cerise, who as vice president for the LSU System's health care and medical education, is over the state's charity hospitals.

Cerise says LSU hospitals today have 456 vacancies. Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie, who oversees the state's vo-tech schools, colleges and universities, complained to Jindal's money manager about the hiring freeze the governor issued last week.

Jindal's order is a hard hiring freeze, which can be thawed a little by agencies that make the case for saving jobs. Jindal's administration already turned down a state Board of Regents' request for a blanket exception.

Savoie says the Regents now plan to return with a request to allow the filling of faculty, instructor positions and student support services jobs such as counselors. Officials with LSU and the state Department of Health and Hospitals also plan to seek exceptions.