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New GOP Majority Pushes Ala. PSC Staff Cuts

Montgomery, AL – The new Republican majority on the Alabama Public Service Commission has made its presence known by cutting six appointed positions that weren't covered by the state merit system.

Republican Commissioners Twinkle Andress Cavanuagh and Terry Dunn advocated the cuts and Democratic Commission President Lucy Baxley agreed Tuesday.

Cavanaugh said all the employees had been hired outside the state merit system before any of the current commissioners took office. Commissioners said the cuts are aimed at increasing efficiency and safeguarding taxpayers' dollars. Part of the cuts stem from eliminating the commission's advisory division.

Commissioners said two of those being laid off may be rehired for vacant merit system positions at the utility regulatory board. People hired in merit system positions are screened and ranked according to their qualifications.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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