Ark. says furlough numbers not as bad as expected

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas budget officials say the number of state employees off work Wednesday because of the federal budget impasse is at 685.

That figure is down from Tuesday's total as agencies found financial resources that let work continue despite a partial shutdown of the federal government.

The state Department of Finance and Administration cautioned that the number of furloughed workers could balloon as federal money previously authorized for various programs runs out.

Arkansas officials had put the number of furloughs at 955 on Tuesday. DF&A Director Richard Weiss said it's possible that unspent federal funds were subsequently found in various accounts and likely left some agencies comfortable enough to retain as many workers as possible.

Congress has failed to pass a budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which began Tuesday.

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