Budget agreement in Michigan averts 35,000 layoffs

It was a pins-and-needles kind of weekend for Michigan’s state employees.

At about 3:30 p.m. Sept. 28, 35,000 of the state’s 53,000 employees received pink slips, including 1,700 employees who work in the Information Technology Department. Only 25 IT employees who supported critical functions for state police, prisons and other safety concerns didn’t get layoff notices, said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the IT department.

“Everybody left Friday afternoon thinking that Monday was going to be a layoff day,” Weiss said. Employees were told to watch the TV news and check the state’s Web portal for developments.

Michigan’s state legislators reached a budget agreement around 4:50 a.m. this morning that ended the government shutdown, Weiss said.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm ordered state employees to report for their scheduled shifts today.

The state House and Senate passed bills that would give lawmakers an extra month to eliminate a $1.75 billion budget deficit. The legislature passed bills last night that included an income tax increase and an expansion of Michigan’s sales tax to include many previously exempt businesses, such as tanning salons and landscaping.

Michigan’s constitution prohibits spending any money unless the budget is balanced by the beginning of its fiscal year, which starts today.

“We have a deal, an understanding, that we have 30 days to pass all department budgets,” Weiss said. “We anticipate a lot more discussion of budgets.”

Michigan has the nation’s highest level of unemployment, with a jobless rate of 7.4 versus a national average of 4.6 percent. Michigan’s biggest industry, auto manufacturing, has downsized considerably in recent years, laying off tens of thousands of employees.

Trudy Walsh writes for Government Computer News, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    CISA chief Chris Krebs disusses the future of the agency at Auburn University Aug. 22 2019

    Shared services and the future of CISA

    Chris Krebs, the head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS, said that many federal agencies will be outsourcing cyber to a shared service provider in the future.

  • Telecom
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA softens line on looming EIS due date

    Think of the September deadline for agencies to award contracts under the General Services Administration's $50-billion telecommunications contract as a "yellow light," said GSA's telecom services director.

  • Defense
    Shutterstock photo id 669226093 By Gorodenkoff

    IC looks to stand up a new enterprise IT program office

    The intelligence community wants to stand up a new program executive office to help develop new IT capabilities.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.