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Michigan's most vulnerable may be most at risk in a federal government shutdown


A federal government shutdown could have a big effect in Michigan, especially for many of the state’s most vulnerable.

Many programs run by Michigan’s state government are paid for with money from the federal government.

If the White House and Congressional Republicans can’t reach a budget deal by the end of this month, the flow of federal money to Michigan will slow to a trickle.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars that flow into the state on a monthly basis,” says John Nixon, Michigan’s state budget director.

Nixon says if the federal government does shut down, starting October 1st the state will have trouble finding money to pay for food assistance, Medicaid and other programs for the poor.

Nixon says the state would have to scramble quickly if federal funds are shut off completely.

“Then we’ll have to sit back and say OK is there a way for the state to continue the programs,” says Nixon, “in the meantime. That’s going to be very difficult to do because we don’t really have the funding to just automatically put into the budget.”

Several state officials say they don’t expect to know what the effect of a federal government shutdown will be until possibly later this week.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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