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State sends 48,000 layoff notices because of budget standoff

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The state has notified thousands of employees they could soon get layoff notices, unless Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican leaders resolve a budget standoff.

Kurt Weiss is with the state Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. He says the state government has to be ready if a new budget is not adopted by October 1, which is the beginning of the new fiscal year.

“We notified all state employees across all of state government – that’s about 48,000 people – that there’s the potential for a temporary layoff based on the fact that we do not have a state budget in place as of yet.”

Weiss says the first round of layoffs would likely shut down state parks, Secretary of State branch offices, and the Michigan Lottery. He says workers who ensure public health and safety would be expected to show up for work.

“At this point in time with no budget, we’ve let them know the Michigan Constitution requires that we have a budget in place before we can expend funds, so that’s why the temporary layoff notices were issued.”

Weiss says not everyone who gets a notice would stay home if there’s a shutdown. He says that’s because the Michigan Constitution also requires the state to protect public safety – so state troopers, corrections officers, and child welfare workers would be asked to show up for work.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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