Senate budget Chairwoman Margarita Prentice has introduced a plan for closing state agencies one day a month for the next 16 months, as a way of cutting costs as the state deals with a multibillion-dollar budget crisis.
Prentice, a Renton Democrat, outlined in Senate Bill 6503 introduced on Friday, specific closure days starting with Friday, March 12, and lasting through June 10, 2011. Most of the closures would be Fridays, as California currently does, giving state workers a long weekend, and less pay. Sometimes called “furloughs,” the bill calls it a temporary layoff of each worker.
The bill doesn’t indicate how much the state would save. The measure says some services would be exempt, such as prisons, institutions, state patrol enforcement and investigation, ferry operation, some public health programs, firefighting, military, fish and wildlife enforcement, parks, liquor stores, some Labor and Industries units, and some higher education programs.