Arizona DES orders workers to take unpaid time off

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Ordered to take unpaid time off

PHOENIX -- The state's big social-welfare agency announced Thursday it has ordered unpaid time off for 9,000 workers in response to recent midyear budget cuts made by the Legislature.

The Department of Economic Security's programs range from unemployment insurance and food stamps to Child Protective Services and developmental disabilities.

Director Linda Blessing says the department is still determining what changes it will make in its programs because of $100 million of funding reductions.

She says the employee furloughs will be staggered so offices will remain open.

A department spokesman said the number of furlough days will vary for individual employees but range up to nine for top managers.

The state cuts were made to close a big budget gap.

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