The commissioner of the state Department of Correction has notified employees that 147 people will be laid off because of a state budget shortfall.
State officials warned last week that layoff notices would be going out soon, potentially to thousands of state employees, because of an estimated state budget shortfall of between $550 million and $900 million.
Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple made the announcement about layoffs in his department to staff members on Thursday.
“After working diligently to come up with cost saving measures, we were able to impact the number of layoffs significantly, but in the end they were not altogether avoidable. Today, it is my duty to inform you that our agency’s savings plan has been approved. I regret to inform you that 147 Department of Correction employees are to be laid off,” Semple wrote in the memo to employees.
Gov. Dannel Malloy told reporters last week that the number of state employee layoffs coming would be "substantial" and Sen. Martin Looney, (D - New Haven), the President Pro Tem of the Senate, said on broad terms, they expect to save "hundreds of millions" as a result of layoffs.
Semple said it was an extremely difficult decision to identify the positions that will be cut and the department is committed to maintaining core services “with an emphasis on safety and security.”
“I have instructed every Director and Warden to meet directly, when the time comes, with those who are adversely affected by the circumstances we face. Despite the difficulty of the situation, I am committed that the process be handled in a compassionate and dignified manner,” Semple wrote.