CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says the federal shutdown is forcing the state to place 233 state employees on furlough starting Monday.

Wyoming has 9,867 employees of which 1,600 positions are funded in whole or in part by federal funds. Money for the 233 employees furloughed on Monday comes from federal funds cut by the Oct. 1 federal government shutdown.

Mead says more employees may be furloughed if the federal shutdown continues past Oct. 30.

The 233 employees work in the Wyoming departments of Environmental Quality, Family Services, the Military, and Parks and Cultural Resources.

Mead says it was difficult to take the action but says state and federal law required furloughing the employees. He says they may choose to use annual leave and may apply for unemployment.

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