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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 13:44

State: Shutdown could force layoffs, program cuts

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State officials have told workers whose jobs are dependent on money from Washington that they could be laid off if the partial federal shutdown persists. State budget office spokesman Kurt Weiss says the state could lay off 15,000 to 20,000 employees and will consider doing so if the shutdown rolls into November. About $20 billion in the state's budget is federally funded. Unemployment checks could be cut and state also would be hard-pressed to subsidize federal programs that help low-income families pay bills and feed children. Weiss says discontinuation notices will go out around Oct. 20 to people who rely on such programs. The shutdown began Oct. 1 after President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats rejected Republican demands to defund the Affordable Care Act.