After years of cutbacks, state of Georgia hiring again

A record state budget that took effect earlier this month is giving officials the chance to fill hundreds of jobs after years of worker cutbacks.

Between 2008, the year before the recession began hammering tax collections, and 2015, the number of state employees dropped by about 12,500, according to data from the state Office of Planning and Budget.

Agency officials say the new staffers are designed to help cut down on long lines at driver’s license offices, to reduce backlogs at crime labs, to cut caseloads for overworked child protective services staffers, to give the state the manpower to investigate police shootings, to provide more teachers in schools with growing enrollment, and to improve the system of signing up Georgians for government benefits.

Some lawmakers say that the cutbacks have made state government leaner and forced agencies to focus on what they were originally designed to do. Reducing the size of government is a popular message in many state House and Senate districts, and some are skeptical that all the new jobs are necessary.

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