Hiring freeze leaves Texas watchdog agencies understaffed - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Hiring freeze leaves Texas watchdog agencies understaffed

DALLAS (AP) - At least 30 Texas investigative jobs remain unfilled after Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state hiring freeze in January in an attempt to save $200 million in anticipation of a budget shortfall.

The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2oZlWgM ) reports the unfilled jobs include two at the jail standards commission and one at the Texas State Securities Board.

Over 50 agencies requested waivers to the order. This week the governor granted permission to fill dozens of positions to some agencies, including the insurance department, the environmental quality commission and law-enforcement agencies.

State investigators respond to crime and safety threats in various areas.

The state anticipates a $4 billion decrease in revenue due to a downturn in oil and gas revenue. Legislators are considering tapping into the state's emergency savings account, which has over $10 billion.

Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

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