AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Thousands of Maine state employees are having a four-day weekend as most state offices close as part of a series of shutdown days to help the state budget.

Tuesday marks the 17th of 20 shutdown days that were ordered two years ago to save the state money. The shutdown affects most state employees, but law enforcement and other personnel deemed as essential will work as usual.

In all, there were 20 shutdown days scheduled between July 1, 2009 and June 30 of this year.

After Tuesday, three more shutdown days are scheduled in March, April and May.

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