Federal Shutdown Forces State To Take Steps Toward Public Worker Layoffs

Oct 14, 2013

The federal shutdown is forcing the state to take its first step toward laying off thousands of public employees.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, entire state departments could be affected.

Michigan budget officials are asking state departments to list programs and state workers that will need to be cut – at least temporarily. That’s if federal funding isn’t restored in the next couple weeks.

Kurt Weiss is a spokesperson for the state budget office.

“We are developing contingency plans to start looking at, if and when this doesn’t get solved, how we start to shut down our state programs,” he says.

Weiss says programs and workers that help Michigan’s poorest residents receive a disproportionate amount of federal dollars. That means they’ll be hardest hit if the shutdown lasts much longer.

The state estimates 15,000 – 20,000 state workers could be affected.