Associated Press | The New York Times | August 24, 2009
Rhode Island will shut down its state government for 12 days and trim millions of dollars in financing for local governments under a plan Gov. Donald L. Carcieri proposed to balance a budget hard-hit by surging unemployment and plummeting tax revenue. The shutdown would force 81 percent of the roughly 13,550-member state work force, excluding its college system, to stay home a dozen days without pay before the start of the new fiscal year in July. The closings come as the worst recession in decades has eliminated hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections and pushed unemployment to 12.7 percent, the second-highest jobless rate in the nation behind Michigan.