BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Nearly 300 state employees have applied for voluntary buyouts, with more than a third of the applicants coming from the North Dakota's biggest agency.

Budget director Joe Morrissette announced the buyout program in June. His agency said Tuesday that 294 employees from 14 agencies have applied for the buyouts. The state Department of Human Services had the largest number of applicants at 121. The agency has more than 2,000 employees.

The options for the buyouts include a lump-sum payout of three months' salary.

The buyout program comes after Republican Gov. Doug Burgum told state agencies in April to identify spending cuts for the next two-year budget.

Morrissette says voluntary buyouts will count toward an agency's spending cuts.

Earlier this year, 158 employees from cabinet-level agencies were approved for voluntary buyouts.