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Most state offices will close another four days each year, to help cover deficit

Most state government offices will close an additional four days each year to help the state deal with its revenue shortfall.

Employment relations director Jennifer Donnelly says the shutdowns will occur on President's Day, the Friday before Memorial Day, Columbus Day and the day after Thanksgiving.

The closings will occur over the next two fiscal years starting in July, and they'll come on top of seven current holidays.

It will help state employees take about half the furloughs ordered by Gov. Jim Doyle a few weeks ago.

State employees must take eight unpaid days off each year, and no more than one in a week so they don't qualify for unemployment pay.

Donnelly said the 24-hour operations like prisons and hospitals would remain open.

The furloughs would have to be spread out and those agencies will need to submit advance plans to her office.

The University of Wisconsin says it will probably close the day after Thanksgiving, but not on the other days because some class schedules would be affected.

Chancellors will meet soon with their faculty and governance groups, and the UW says it will announce its plans at the end of the month.