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Walker administration institutes hiring freeze pending budget resolution

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JUNEAU, Alaska — Gov. Bill Walker's administration instituted a hiring freeze across most departments Friday, while lawmakers met behind closed doors in Anchorage in hopes of brokering an end to a long-running budget impasse.

The freeze, instituted pending a budget deal, took effect days before notices could be sent to state employees warning of possible layoffs if a budget deal isn't reached by July 1.

Deputy commissioner of Administration Leslie Ridle says the departments of health, public safety and corrections are not affected by the freeze. She said some agencies within departments that deal with life, health or safety issues could receive permission to make hires if necessary.

The administration has been making plans for what might happen if lawmakers do not reach a budget deal by July 1.

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