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Originally published April 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM | Page modified April 10, 2010 at 5:18 PM

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Wash. lawmakers approve $45M state furlough plan

The state legislature has approved a bill that seeks to cut state compensation costs by about $45 million through June 2011.

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The state legislature has approved a bill that seeks to cut state compensation costs by about $45 million through June 2011.

It directs state agencies to come up with plans to reach targeted levels of payroll savings. If they don't come up with an acceptable plan, an agency could be forced into 10 closure days, resulting in possible furloughs for workers.

However, a long list of workers would be exempt from any furlough days, including public safety workers, college instructors and state hospital employees.

Some payroll reduction plans also could wind up in labor negotiations with the governor's office.

The measure got final approval Saturday from the Senate on a close 26-14 vote. It heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire for final approval.

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