The Republican governor acted Saturday, only hours after lawmakers approved the measure by unanimous votes in both chambers. The measure took effect Saturday night.
The GOP-dominated Legislature has yet to complete a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 because lawmakers are divided over raising taxes.
Without a budget, the state has no legal authority to pay employees for work after Saturday. Employees’ compensation lags several weeks behind their work, so their pay for the two-week period beginning Sunday won’t be distributed until early July.
The bill approved by lawmakers declares all state employees essential for the next few weeks so that they can at least stay on the job.