LA Ag Department Offers Retirement Incentive

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain is offering a retirement incentive — in lieu of job layoffs — as he tries to shrink employee payroll to cut budget expense.

         The Advocate’s Marsha Shuler reports the retirement incentive is part of Strain's plan to comply with Jindal administration-directed cuts required to balance the current and next year's state budget.

         Civil Service director Shannon Templet gave the green light for Strain to offer the retirement incentive to his employees as a layoff avoidance measure. The state Civil Service Commission ratified her decision Wednesday.

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         Under the program, employees are paid a lump-sum benefit of a maximum of 50 percent of the agency savings in the 12-month period following the employee's retirement date. The employees will retire before Feb. 13.

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