State employee buyout applications approved

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee officials have approved 1,521 state employees' applications for voluntary buyouts.

Friday will be the last day on the job for most of the workers taking the buyout.

Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, had hoped to eliminate 2,300 state jobs to save the state $64 million per year. The state invited more than 12,000 state workers to apply, but only about 2,200 volunteered for the buyout amid worsening economic conditions.

The approved buyouts are projected to save the state $47 million per year. State Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz said Monday officials will look for ways to make up the remainder of the savings before resorting to mandatory layoffs.

The buyouts are part of a nearly half-billion dollar package of cuts the Legislature approved to help address sluggish state revenues.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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