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Kill the ETP?

Posted: May 29, 2009 8:59 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.
At first glance, I thought Steve Lunetta was on to something when he suggested killing the ETP to save $76 million toward balancing our state budget (“The state training scam,” The Signal, May 25).

Although the Employee Training Program, started in 1982, may have been a valuable program at that time, perhaps it’s a luxury we can’t currently afford, even though as Steve acknowledges it gives a five-to-one return on investment.

It would be great, although perhaps unlikely, to find another 319 such programs in order to bring our state budget into balance.

But at second glance, I found that killing the program won’t help the state’s budget shortfall at all.  

That’s because the ETP’s budget does not come from the state’s General Fund.

It’s funded separately by a tax levied on employers as part of the state’s unemployment insurance program.

Killing this program will not alleviate the state’s financial bind.

So, Lunetta, we still have to find 320 programs with an average cost of $76 million in order to balance the budget.  

Back to the cutting board.


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