LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan is sending furlough notices to unions representing tens of thousands of state workers as a precaution in case of an extended shutdown of the federal government.
Budget director John Nixon says the move is necessary because it gets $20 billion from the federal government, or 40 percent of state spending. Michigan will lose $18 million each day of the shutdown.
Nixon says he worries about welfare and food assistance programs because spending on them normally is protected in a shutdown. But the programs weren't reauthorized.
The 1.6 million Michigan residents on food stamps will be OK in October because their debit cards have already been loaded.
Nixon says in two weeks, the state will really "feel pain" and in a month it's "really got a lot of problems."
NEWS 10 SPOKE WITH BUDGET DIRECTOR JOHN NIXON. WATCH TONIGHT AT 6PM TO HEAR MORE OF WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.