By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – Thousands of state workers will have today off. It's the first of six unpaid furlough days government employees will take this summer to help make up a budget shortfall.
The unpaid holidays for 37,400 government employees are expected to save the state about $20 million.
Secretary of State branch offices will be closed. People who have to renew their driver's licenses have a reprieve until Monday. Museums, offices that handle business licenses, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the state Court of Appeals will also be closed.
Some services were deemed too crucial to lose. So, State Police troopers will patrol the highways, and skeleton staffs will be at state parks. Psychiatric hospitals, prisons, youth facilities, and veterans' homes won't close. And the Unemployment Insurance Agency will be open to help people with their claims for jobless benefits.