- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration says 900 state workers have agreed to buyouts, eliminating the need for widespread layoffs.

The governor offered the voluntary separation program for employees approaching retirement age in October as part of a strategy to close an estimated state budget shortfall of nearly $300 million.

Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore says the buyouts will result in net savings of $12 million in the current fiscal year and $70 million next year.

While she says that will avert across-the-board layoffs, state agencies will continue to seek savings through attrition and adjustments in staffing.

Baker, a Republican, cut $100 million in executive branch spending earlier this month. Democratic legislative leaders have said they might try to restore some of those cuts when lawmakers reconvene in January.

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This story has been corrected to show estimated state budget shortfall was nearly $300 million, not $250 million.

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