Washington state agencies closed Feb. 22 for temporary layoff
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 17, 2011
OLYMPIA - The next widespread shutdown of state agencies as a result of budget shortfalls will take place Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011.
In April 2010, the state Legislature passed and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6503. Designed to reduce state government spending for employees, the law requires that state agencies close on the 10 days specified in the bill or submit an alternate compensation reduction plan for approval by the Office of Financial Management.
The following agencies, boards and commissions will be closed Tuesday, Feb. 22:
- Board of Accountancy
- Commission on African-American Affairs
- Archeology and Historic Preservation
- Arts Commission
- Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
- Conservation Commission
- Council for Children and Families
- Criminal Justice Training Commission
- Early Learning
- Eastern Washington Historical Society
- Office of Education Ombudsman
- Environmental Hearings Office
- Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman
- Fish and Wildlife
- Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board
- General Administration
- Growth Management Hearing Boards
- Health Care Authority
- Higher Education Coordinating Board
- Commission on Hispanic Affairs
- Washington Historical Society
- Horse Racing Commission
- Human Rights Commission
- Indeterminate Sentence Review Board
- Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs
- Information Services
- Liquor Control Board (liquor stores will remain open)
- Military Department
- Commission for National and Community Service
- Pollution Liability Insurance Agency
- Public Disclosure Commission
- Puget Sound Partnership
- Recreation and Conservation Office
- Department of Retirement Systems
- Citizen Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials
- Sentencing Guidelines Commission
- Social and Health Services
- Board of Tax Appeals
- Traffic Safety Commission
- Transportation Improvement Board
- Utilities and Transportation Commission
- Veterans Affairs
- Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board
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 State Patrol will be in full operation. The legislation exempts the Office of the Governor and Office of Financial Management from temporary layoffs during the legislative session.
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.
The closures will save more than $70 million in all funds 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://ofm.wa.gov/layoff/.
Note: State offices will also be closed Monday, Feb. 21, for Presidents’ Day.
Contact: Ralph Thomas, 360-902-7607