Minnesota Department of Corrections lays off 48 employees in wake of coronavirus
July 24, 2020
The Minnesota Department of Corrections has laid off 48 employees to meet "unforeseen budget shortfalls" related to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
In an e-mail to state legislators last week, a senior staffer explained that compounding factors such as contractual salary increases, ballooning overtime for officers and loss of revenue from the agency's industrial MINNCOR program were to blame for a $4.2 million deficit. Balancing the budget would require a reduction in staffing.
"[The] DOC set aside 1.5% of all work unit budgets a year ago to help prepare for the anticipated salary increases," Safia Khan, director of government relations, wrote ahead of the special session. "But COVID-19 was an unexpected shock to the global economy, and the DOC is experiencing the fallout."