Because of budget reductions for state agencies, most state offices will close on Friday, and 26,500 state employees will take mandatory unpaid furloughs on that day, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services announced.

The closure on Friday is the fourth of 10 closure dates the state has scheduled over the current two-year budget period.

Each day of closure will save an estimated $2 million in personnel costs, said DAS Director Scott Harra.

"We apologize for any inconvenience these closures might cause to the public, and we look forward to restoration of a full work schedule for all state agencies when the economy returns to its normal strength," said Harra.

Customers can still do business with the Department of Motor Vehicles and some other state agencies online, even though the offices are closed. Harra encouraged the public to check agencies' Web sites to find out whether online transactions are possible on the closure day.

Harra emphasized that certain state employees who provide essential services in public safety will remain on the job as usual, such as state police and corrections officers and certain state hospital workers, for example.

For closure information, go to (www.oregon.gov/furlough_closures.shtml)

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