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Budget crunch means layoffs and changes for some museums

Louisiana's Old State Capitol building Louisiana's Old State Capitol building

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Secretary of State Tom Schedler says he will lay off 24 full-time employees and reduce hours at museums under his control to cope with the midyear budget cut assigned to his office by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Schedler announced the plans Wednesday, saying layoffs would begin in April.

The two largest museums operated by Schedler's office - the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge and the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport - will shrink operating hours to only three days a week.

The remaining 12 small, largely rural museums will open one day a week.

Jindal has announced plans to cut $61 million in state spending before the fiscal year ends June 30 to help close a midyear deficit tied to declining oil prices. Lawmakers consider the plans Friday.

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