About 100 North Dakota State Employees Interested in Buyouts

Bismarck, N.D. - (AP) -- About 100 employees from cabinet-level agencies in North Dakota state government have expressed interest in taking voluntary buyouts to help with the state's struggling finances.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum gave agency heads in April the option to offer buyouts to employees, and letters went out to some 3,600 with the offer. In a letter drafted by Burgum's office, agencies told employees the buyouts might limit the need for layoffs.

The deadline to apply for a buyout is Monday. It's up to the agencies to determine which buyouts are accepted.

Nick Archuleta is the president of the union representing state employees. He says the option of buyouts is a "softer landing" than having to fire workers.

Officials estimate the average annual salary and benefits for each state employee is about $81,000.

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