The number of people on the state's payroll has grown even though thousands of government employees have retired since Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued an order last year to implement hiring restrictions at state agencies.
The governor's executive order told agency officials and commissioners that they would need to provide a reason as to why a position should be filled.
Those reasons ranged from mentioning that the position is excluded from the overall hiring restriction to one- line statements resembling job descriptions. In some cases no reasons were offered at all.
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Here are a few examples provided by Minnesota Management and Budget:
Office of Enterprise Technology, Information Officer: "Critical to the execution of the internal and external communication program for OET."
Minnesota Department of Transportation, Transportation Specialist: "Importance of the job to a significant operation within the agency."
Department of Natural Resources, General Maintenance Worker: "Critical to operating and maintaining 73 state parks and recreation areas."
Minnesota Department of Education, Education Specialist: "This position is needed to ensure the continued success of the MCA-II Reading and Math assessments."
Minnesota Department of Education, Education Specialist: "Important to fill this position because supervisor does not have skills and knowledge adequate to provide appropriate support. No other staff inside MDE with skills and knowledge in AT (Assistive Technology) and UDL (Universal Design for Learning) or of accessible instructional materials."
Agriculture Department, Program Administration Manager: "This position is assigned to the commissioner's office and includes responsibility for coordinating legislative and policy making activities in the department."
Department of Corrections, Information Officer: "Need specialized expertise and training..."
Military Affairs, General Maintenance Worker: "Workload too much for current staff."