Entries in Cuts (4)


Snail Mail May Get Slower: Postal Service Looks to Cut $2 Billion

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Postal Service announced Monday that it is moving forward on a plan to cut over $2 billion that will come at the cost of making First Class mail delivery slower.
The proposed slowing of First Class mail service comes at a time when the postal service is losing business to faster digital communication options, like e-mail on online bill payment. The proposed change risks the possibility of further encouraging costumers to transfer their communications to digital mediums, but Vice President of Network Operations Dave Williams says the decision is a necessary to put the Postal Service “on sound financial ground.”
“We have to do this, we have to make this change in order for the postal service to become financially viable,” Williams told reporters Monday. Williams went on to say that the service expects to lose $14 billion this year if it doesn’t get congressional relief.
Under the plan, which the Postal Service is now sending to the Postal Regulatory Commission for review, First Class mail would no longer have an overnight processing standard. The standard delivery window for First Class mail would increase from its current 1-3 day delivery standard to 2-3 days.
In addition to the proposed increase in the standard delivery time for First Class mail, the plan takes into consideration closing 252 of the nation's 461 mail processing centers.
Post Master General Patrick Donahue says that with the proposed consolidation of processing centers, about 35,000 employee’s jobs will be affected. These job losses would add to the 250,000 jobs that the postal service has already lost over the last decade.
While the 252 processing centers under review will not be affected until the Postal Regulatory Commission’s review is complete in approximately three months, the postal service has already begun a process of cutting back its processing centers. Since September, the Postal Service has closed 26 processing facilities, according to Williams.
The postal service is also looking to cut back delivery service from six days a week to five days a week, which Donahoe says would save $3 billion, as well as cutting back on retiree health care costs. These two cost-saving measures, however, need congressional approval before they can be implemented.
“Congress needs to act now,” Donahue said. “We’ve got two bills, one in the House, one in the Senate, the administration is waiting …We need to act right now.”
The postal service projects that it needs to decrease its total operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 in order to keep up with the continued decrease in the demand for the service.
“What we have to do is look at what we can take out of this organization from a cost standpoint because we have lost volume and we have lost revenue and you can’t just sit back and wait, you’ve got to act on these things,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told reporters Monday. “We’ve got a goal of $20 billion dollars and we’re going to do that in order to keep ourselves financially helpful.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


California to Close 70 State Parks Due to Budget Cuts

Paul Sutherland/Digital Vision(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The Governor's mansion is just one of 70 state parks that California will close due to budget cuts, officials announced Friday.

“We regret closing any park,” said Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, “but with the proposed budget reductions over the next two years, we can no longer afford to operate all parks within the system.”

The California Parks Department said the closures are “necessary to achieve an $11 million reduction in the next fiscal year 2011/12, and $22 million in the following fiscal year 2012/13."

Another 208 state parks will remain open despite the cuts, officials said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


States Across the Country Cut Programs to Balance Budgets

Photo Courtesy - Getty ImagesNEW YORK) -- A laundry list of government programs could be on the chopping block as states and municipalities across the country confront the hard realities of budget shortfalls. From hospice care to hearing aids, wildfire funding to the police force, state legislators and city leaders are considering all options in their efforts to stay in the black.

Most states are bound by their own laws to maintain balanced budgets, meaning many state governments are facing the tough choice: either cut spending or raise taxes.

In California, where Gov. Jerry Brown is confronting a $25 billion shortfall, that means canceling cell phone service for nearly 50,000 state workers. Brown himself is turning in his phone.

"It's not just cutting out programs. It's making government leaner and more effective," said Brown, a Democrat.

Cell phone service is just one area that may see cuts in California. Others include education spending and wildfire fighting.

Other states are taking unusual and drastic measures to dig their way out of debt. Forty-eight of them have slashed programs, including Medicaid.

In Arizona, that means nearly 100 people will be ineligible for state-funded, life-saving transplants.

South Carolina will stop payments to hospice, and Indiana could eliminate funding for hearing aids and dentures.

Municipalities also are faced with serious financial problems.

Detroit may have to close down half its public schools by 2013, the Detroit News reported this week. The move would increase typical class sizes from 35 to 62 people in public high schools.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Report: Yahoo! Prepares to Cut 600 Jobs

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SUNNYVALE, Calif.) -- Search giant Yahoo! is reportedly set to cut more than 600 jobs beginning as early as Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reports that the company will slash nearly five percent of its workforce as it struggles to compete with Google, which just last month promised workers a 10 percent raise.

It’s the latest in a round of cuts that began in late 2008, when Yahoo! Inc. cut approximately 1,400 jobs.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio