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Sequestration may cause state layoffs in Michigan


Unionized state employees received notices earlier this month that layoffs may be coming as a result of funding cuts due to the federal sequester.

The noticeswere dated March 8, but were only made public this week.The state is required to give 30-day's notice before any layoffs. The earliest any could occur would be April 8.

Kurt Weiss, a spokesman for the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, said the state still isn't sure what will be cut.

"That's the hard part right now, we don't know exactly where the cuts are coming," Weiss said. "We're waiting for further guidance from the federal government. We expect the cut level will be somewhere around $150 million total, but whether that will result in layoffs or not, we just don't know yet."

The notices were sent by Janine Winters, director of the Office of the State Employer. She wrote that "plans are being developed to quickly bring spending in line with anticipated revenues."

"The negative impact on client services and state employees that may result from sequester will only increase if there are delays in implementing plans," Winters wrote.

Weiss said the state hopes to have more details in the next few weeks.

"We're getting some information that's trickling in from the federal government, but it's certainty not enough yet to determine where the cuts are going to be," he said. "We're hoping that sometime in the next two to three weeks we'll have some exact, specific, information."

-- Joseph Lichterman, Michigan Radio Newsroom