Governor Bob Holden has lifted the state hiring freeze, but says that doesn’t mean state employee ranks will swell. Holden says lifting the freeze merely means state agencies won’t have to get permission from the State Budget Director to welcome back laid-off workers. He says his administration still plans to carefully observe the size of the state workforce. Holden says the pay increase in the budget for the next fiscal year, along with a bill mandating that overtime be remitted to state workers on a timely fashion, makes working for the state a better career choice. But still falls short of what he believes they deserve. The overtime bill signed by Holden also expands the “whistle-blower protection”. State employees who believe they have been treated unfairly for reporting alleged violations will be allowed to seek civil damages.