Inslee rescinds directive to state agencies to freeze hiring, personal service contracts and equipment purchases

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Gov. Jay Inslee today rescinded his May 2020 directive which froze state agency hiring, personal service contracts and equipment purchases.

The recension reads:

"Last May, I issued Directive 20-05 in response to the economic and financial uncertainty that swept Washington State as it battled its first COVID-19 wave. At that time, none of us had a clear idea of the full impact COVID-19 would have on the State’s revenue situation, so I ordered state agencies to take immediate fiscal restraint.

"Accordingly, effective May 18, 2020, with certain exemptions, I directed a freeze on the following: (1) hiring not related to public safety or other non-discretionary activities, (2) signing non-essential personal services contracts, and (3) discretionary equipment purchasing. Then in November 2020, I issued Directive 20-05.1, amending my original directive, but keeping intact its substance.

"In the months since I issued Directive 20-05, your agencies have used common sense, good judgment, and creativity to accomplish the Directive’s ultimate goal of capturing immediate savings through spending reductions. For over a year, the State has weathered the COVID-19 crisis, and State budget revenues have stabilized.

"In turn, at this time, I am rescinding the freezes described in Directives 20-05 and 20-05.1. Thank you all for your leadership through this very challenging time."

Read the full directive here.

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