The next widespread shutdown of state agencies as a result of budget shortfalls will take place Monday.
In April the state Legislature passed and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6503. Designed to reduce state government spending on employees, the law requires that state agencies close on the 10 days specified in the bill.
Nearly all state agencies, boards and commissions (complete list) will be closed Monday. Employment Security's local WorkSource offices, tax offices and the unemployment claims call center will remain open.
The law specifies exemptions to allow certain public safety, public health and revenue-generation activities to continue. Services provided by child protection workers, community corrections officers, emergency public health and patient safety workers, and the State Patrol will be in full operation.
In addition, institutions of higher education were required by law to submit compensation reduction plans to avoid office closures. Most offices headed by separately elected officials (Secretary of State, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Auditor, Attorney General and Commissioner of Public Lands) also submitted compensation reduction plans. However, most state agencies are scheduled to close their offices on the dates specified.
Additional closures will take place:
- Dec. 27
- Jan. 28, Feb. 22, March 11, April 22 and June 10 next year
The closures will save more than $70 million in 2010–11. The temporary layoff law was passed as part of a series of measures to address an almost $12 billion shortfall during the 2009–11 budget period.
For more information on state agency closures, visit http://www.ofm.wa.gov/layoff/default.asp.
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