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Cuyahoga County asks departments to plan for 15 percent budget cuts, hiring freeze

'The cuts we're making are hard. They're very difficult, and they're painful.'

CLEVELAND — “We must be good and responsible stewards of the taxpayers' dollars."

Those were the words from Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish as he announced cuts at the county level during a press conference Friday morning.

"I’ve instructed that there be a hiring freeze at the county, and I’m asking our departments to propose 15 percent budget cuts.”

Budish said county employees have also been given two week furloughs.

“Some people have urged us to wait before taking these budgeting measures," he continued. "They say that the federal government may give us more dollars that we can use to support our revenue losses in the budget. I understand that position. It may happen. I hope it happens. We’re still working to make that happen, but it would be irresponsible to wait to start our money-saving moves."

He said the cuts are "hard" and "painful."

"I can tell you for every month that we wait, if the federal government does not give us more money or more flexibility, it’ll just get harder and harder to fill our growing budget hole. I want to assure you that we’ll continue to provide necessary services to those most in need, as we have always done. We will manage this crisis, and we’ll do it carefully and wisely."

You can watch the full press conference in the player below:

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