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How Will the Federal Government Shutdown Affect Georgia Government?
On a National Level
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Congress announced a partial federal government shutdown. Congressional leaders were unable to form a cohesive agreement about certain topics in the budget, resulting in 800,000 federal employees out of work indefinitely. From NASA to the US Environmental Protection Agency, many federal employees were furloughed from their positions.
Will Georgia be hurt by this federal stalemate?
State governments are still open and running normally. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) says that it has instructed state agencies to manage their budgets carefully in case of a potential extended shutdown. State agencies should be able to survive unfalteringly without federal dollars for a few weeks, but they will be keeping an eye on the situation no matter what.
The official statement from OPB:
We are hopeful that Congressional leaders will work together to quickly resolve the budget impasse on the federal fiscal year 2014 budget; however, we have taken steps at the state level to be prepared in the event of an extended shutdown. We have asked our state agencies to manage their budgets with available dollars and to be prepared to curtail federally funded activities until the federal budget is enacted. The state does not anticipate using state dollars to fill any lapses in federal funding unless there is a critical life or safety activity that must continue despite the shutdown.
Agencies should be able to manage a short lapse in federal funds without major disruptions to state services, but a shutdown lasting several weeks could have a larger impact on agency activities and budgets. We will also be closely watching revenues as there could be an impact to state tax collections resulting from furloughing federal employees and contractors. OPB will continue to work with our federal partners to monitor the situation and are hopeful for a speedy resolution to the debate.
About the Author
Bethany McDaniel is a content specialist for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, GA with degrees in Visual Communication and History.