In a press conference on March 22, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she will lay off workers from various departments in the Michigan State Government. These layoffs are expected to last 10 days and the employees affected will immediately be processed into unemployment.

“In order to ensure that the essential services we provide everyday to the people of Michigan continue, I’ve made the difficult choice to approve a temporary layoff to departments across state government,” Whitmer said. 

Whitmer said over 2,900 state employees, including 900 Michigan Department of State employees, will be laid off beginning on April 26. 

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson wrote in a press release that the layoffs will help Michigan allocate funding to necessary resources and not affect public services provided by the state. 

“This is an extremely challenging time for our state, our state government and our department,” Benson said. “This decision was not easy, but is necessary to responsibly steward taxpayer funds at this time.” 

Whitmer and other state department officials announced earlier this week that they will also take pay cuts from their own salary to make up for the state’s financial situation. 

Earlier this week, the University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, along with other executive board members, announced they would take pay cuts and freeze faculty salaries after predicting a $400 million financial loss.

The current stay-at-home executive order by Whitmer is set to end on April 25; however, Whitmer announced the possibility of extending the stay-at-home order at the press conference. Whitmer said she is lifting restrictions on selling recreational items in light of a protest outside of the State office last Wednesday. 

“There are reasons for cautious optimism. We need to keep it up,” Whitmer said. “I want to be clear, we will likely need another extension of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order.” 

Summer Managing News Editor Jasmin Lee can be reached at

Correction: A previous version of this article states the protests occurred last Thursday. They happened last Wednesday. 


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