Michigan state workers notified of potential layoffs
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s 48,000 state government workers were notified Monday of potential temporary layoffs in case the next budget is not enacted before Oct. 1.
Budget director Chris Kolb and other members of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Cabinet emailed the employees.
“With just two weeks remaining to get a budget completed, time is growing short, and we have a responsibility to be prepared for every possible scenario, including a state government shutdown,” Kolb wrote. “It would be irresponsible to both you and to taxpayers if we don’t continue to prepare for the possibility of a shutdown.”
The Republican-led Legislature has started approving spending bills, though there is no deal with the Democratic governor.
About 30,000, or 62%, of state workers would be temporarily laid off. The rest would be deemed as essential to protecting the health and safety of residents and continue working.
They include prison guards, state troopers, child protective services caseworkers and others.
Functions that would cease in the event of a partial shutdown include all state road construction projects, welcome centers and rest areas, state parks, secretary of state branches, most licensing, inspection and permitting programs and lottery games. The Liquor Control Commission would stop accepting orders from retailers for hard liquor. The state would also halt funding for K-12 school districts and local governments.
State budget office spokesman Kurt Weiss said it was unknown if workers would receive back pay for days on which they are temporarily laid off.
A week ago, Whitmer and GOP legislative leaders announced that they would work to enact a budget without including a long-term funding plan to fix deteriorating roads. It was seen as a significant step toward resolving the budget after Whitmer had threatened to veto one without a permanent road-funding solution, but talks quickly broke down after the sides could not reach consensus on how much to still direct to the transportation budget in the coming fiscal year.