The state has notified 55 of its employees that they face layoffs at the end of this month if Congress fails to reach a budget deal and the federal government shuts down Sept. 30.

Most of the workers are in the Department of Health and Human Services and are paid through federal funding that could stop if Congress fails to adopt a new budget or agree to continue operating federal agencies with what is a called a continuing resolution.

If a shutdown is averted, the layoff notices will be rescinded, said Alex Willette, spokesman for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

Advance notice is legally required before such layoffs. The LePage administration took a similar step in December 2013, where 58 state workers were told they would be laid off if Congress didn’t reach a budget deal. Those layoff notices were rescinded when Congress reached a deal.

Of the 55 employees who are affected now, 48 work in the DHHS Department of Disabilities Benefits, four work in other DHHS roles and three work in the Department of Corrections.

Democratic and Republicans in Congress negotiated a possible continuing resolution this week to keep the federal government operating. One sticking point has been pressure from some Republicans to stop funding Planned Parenthood because the reproductive health organization provides privately funded abortions.

This article will be updated

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