Shutdown in the States: & # 39; We have to take this seriously seriously & # 39; - The Pew Charitable Trusts

President Donald Trump's warning that the partial closure of the federal government could take "months or even years" has made states, cities and businesses increasingly nervous.

States depend on federal money to pay for food stamps, welfare and programs, such as the Childcare and Development Fund, the National Flood Insurance Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides similar subsidies for parks and recreation projects in the province and nearby.

Marcia Howard, the executive director of the non-profit Federal Funds Information for States, said that the states have enough leftover federal dollars, plus their own money, to keep major programs running for several weeks – but a longer period than that would cause considerable problems. The longest previous shutdown was for 21 days, in 1995-1996.

"We do not know how it goes," Howard said. "We do not know how it is solved, and states are just as curious as everyone else."

In Michigan, for example, $ 22 billion comes from the state budget of $ 57 billion from the federal government. A spokesman for the Michigan State Budget Office, Kurt Weiss, said the state will not face major challenges until 45 days have passed. But the day marking the end of that period, February 5, is rapidly approaching.

"That's when we press the panic button," Weiss said. "We are starting to worry more and we have to take this seriously."

The Weiss office recently asked the heads of state to assess how long they can stay open without federal dollars and which of their programs are the most essential. Their answers are known on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Agriculture and Rural Development State Department, Jennifer Holton, said her department is re-evaluating its budget before the deadline, but does not want to comment on specific programs.

"We spent a lot of money on a marketing campaign because of the black eye that the federal government imposed on us last time."


State of Utah, Rep. Ken Ivory, about the closure of 2013 when his state opened national parks

Minnesota also tries to get a grip on how long the government institutions can work without federal dollars. Myron Frans, the Commissioner for Minnesota Management and Budget, said his state has emergency plans for short-term shutdowns that take days, but not months.

"Those people need that money", Frans said about the Minnesotans that depend on federally funded programs. "What do we do? How do we plan to help these people when payments are made?

"We have to accept that this shutdown will take a long time."

The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food vouchers, is funded during the month. If the shutdown lasts longer, the benefit can be cut off, affecting approximately 40 million people. The special supplementary feeding program for women, infants and children, known as WIC, had no money left.

That has involved New Jersey officials. A spokesman for the US Department of Human Services, Tom Hester, said that if the shutdown lasted last January, it could hit 730,000 recipients of food stamps and recipients of 12,600 temporary help for needy families (TANF) in New Jersey.

"We keep a close eye on the actions at the federal level and all possible consequences for New Jersey," Hester said. However, he would not explain what the state would do if the shutdown took place after the end of the month.

Federal funding for Medicaid, the federal state's health care program for low-income people, is not at risk because the Congress has already approved the federal part of those payments until September.

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The shutdown effect on national parks is known to states. Arizona, California, New York and Utah are among those who use state dollars to keep some of their national parks open – and to protect their local tourist industry – by offering basic services such as garbage disposal and toilet cleaning.

There is no guarantee that states will be reimbursed for those expenses, Howard said. It is up to Congress to decide whether states should be reimbursed, and although it has done so after a few shutdowns, states have not always been made healthy.

Four years after the closing of two weeks in 2013, for example, Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah were still not reimbursed after millions were shot at to keep parks open.

In Utah, Secretary of State Ken Ivory said the federal government has still not paid its state for the closure of 2013, and can only hope that it will pay back Utah for this abandonment. The biggest problem for the state now, he said, is uncertainty.

"People have been planning years and years in advance to see these iconic landscapes we have," said the Republican legislator. "We spent a lot of money on a marketing campaign because of the black eye that the federal government imposed on us last time."

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As a result of the stoppage, 420,000 federal employees work without pay and 380,000 jobs have been earned, according to a democratic report from the Senate Credit Committee.

The economies of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, which have the highest concentrations of federal workers, will feel the most acute impact of those missed labor costs. But they are not the only places: federal employees make up at least 3 percent of the workforce in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Hundreds of Marylanders apply for unemployment benefits because of the closure, the Baltimore Sun. has found. The Maryland Government, Larry Hogan, a Republican, denounced the consequences of the shutdown for the 147,000 federal workers who live in his state and calls it & # 39; unacceptable & # 39 ;.

City administrators across the country are also worried. Steve Benjamin, the Democratic mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and the president of the American Conference of Mayors, called the closure a "crisis & # 39; for cities.

Because the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is closed, officials there will not process section 8 and veterans who are housing vouchers or answer cities' questions about subsidies, Benjamin said. Cities may soon have to work with landlords, food banks and within their own limited budgets to help residents pass by in the meantime.

"This has an impact on people's lives," he said. "We are not just talking about 800,000 federal employees, and our most economically vulnerable and hardest working people will not be able to pay rent."

The program director National League of Cities of the community and economic development, Michael Wallace, said that rural residents who use federal loans to buy houses have not been able to close their new properties because the Ministry of Agriculture is closed, creating unexpected problems.

If the shutdown expands in February, he said, cities will have to transfer money from other programs and services to ensure that their inhabitants are nourished and protected.

"The shutdown unnecessarily complicates what standard transactions should be between different levels of government," Wallace said. "We do not have much experience with shutdowns that have taken so long, so cities will have to figure out how to save it until the government moves on. & # 39;

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