Saving The State Budget: Furloughs And Layoffs Are Looking More Likely…Even public employee union leaders are warning their workers that the Legislature will have to make the best of a dire budget situation this coming year.

House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke, meanwhile, is predicting the state can save $130 million or more per year by freezing positions as state workers retire.

Luke, one of the most powerful members of the Legislature, indicated she is inclined to shield the University of Hawaii and the public education systems from the brunt of those cuts, saying it does not make sense to reduce the ranks of public school teachers or university professors right now.

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