Friday is a shutdown day in state government — the second of 10 planned for this fiscal year.

State lawmakers in 2009 instituted 20 shutdown days for this fiscal year and next as a way to balance the state budget. Today is the second furlough day, which is an unpaid day off for state workers in the executive and legislative branches of government. State courts and police continue to operate.

The shutdown days were just one of many cost-cutting steps the Legislature took to balance the $5.8 billion, two-year budget. Ryan Low, commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, said the furlough days were a way to save a significant amount of money without having to lay off additional state workers.

The national recession and lagging state revenues will mean additional cuts to the budget when legislators reconvene in January.

At least 21 other states — including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland — instituted similar shutdown days to balance their budgets, according to Stateline.org.