Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is seeking authorization to cancel annual pay raises for 56,000 state employees as officials make efforts to balance the state budget in fiscal 2012.

Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater said the move would save $55 million that could help fill a $1.6 billion revenue shortfall predicted for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

“The fiscal challenges our state faces continue to place difficult, yet sensitive options before us,” Rainwater said in his request to appear before the Louisiana Civil Service Commission.

Rainwater this week asked the commission to allow state agencies to suspend the annual 4% salary increase for most state employees, based on their job evaluations.

The commission approved a proposal by Jindal in March 2010 to cancel raises that would have gone into effect in fiscal 2011.

Rainwater said the Republican governor would not include a pay increase in next year’s proposed budget for the 30,000 higher-paid state government employees not subject to civil service ­regulations.

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