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Keeping tabs on how the shutdown is affecting Michigan

The shutdown of the federal government is here. Now what?

We'll keep tabs on the people, programs, and places being affected by the shutdown on this post. Drop us a note below if you're affected by the shutdown or if you know of a program that we haven't mentioned.

If you've sat this story out, and need some "Shutdown 101," the Washington Post's WonkBlog has "Absolutely everything you need to know about how the government shutdown will work." That should about cover it.

*We will update this post as we learn more information

The shutdown shakes things out into two silos.

  1. "Essential" services/personnel, and
  2. "Non-essential" services/personnel.

Officially, the Washington Post reports that they don't use that language anymore because feelings can get hurt (who wants to be "non-essential"), but the intent remains.

Basically, "non-essential" stuff will close down first. "Essential" services will continue, but will be squeezed the longer a shutdown continues.

Active duty military personnel will be unaffected as special legislation was passed to keep them in service and paid.

What stays open:

  • Postal service
  • Border Patrol
  • Air traffic controllers, and the TSA
  • Veterans Affairs services 
  • Federal courts
  • Immigration services
  • the Federal Reserve
  • Food safety inspections
  • Food stamps
  • Federal Student Aid
  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • Patents and Trademarks
  • Passport services
  • Social Security payments
  • Weather alerts

A protracted government shutdown could begin to affect these services as many workers could be working without pay.
What gets closed:

  • Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Isle Royale National Park
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
  • Keweenaw National Historic Park
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum
  • The Small Business Administration will not process loans
  • The USDA's Rural Development Loan Assistance program is suspended
  • New FHA loans will not be processed
  • Funding for the USDA's "Special Supplmental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children" is unclear at this time.
  • No new grants going out for Head Start programs

An unknown number of "non-essential" federal employees will be furloughed. Including:

  • 4,200 civilian employees at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command in Warren
  • About 900 people in the Michigan National Guard
  • Staff at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center
  • State employees paid for using federal funds are laid-off yet, but will get furlough notices

The federal government has a list of what government services will be affected during the shutdown.

Wednesday, October 2, 2:00 p.m.

Here are a few more areas impacted by the shutdown. Paychecks have stopped for 4,200 civilian employees at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command in Warren, and 650 workers at the Selfridge Air National Guard base have in Harrison Township, according to the Macomb Daily News.

And staff has been furloughed at the Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena.

Tuesday, October 1, 5:30 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder urged politicians in Washington to "stop the gridlock."

From his statement:

If the federal government is shut down for just a day or two, the effects on Michigan's residents will be minimal. A longer-term shutdown, though, could have consequences. Right now, our budget office is monitoring the situation to determine the impact that the shutdown will have on various federal programs in our state.

State workers whose salaries are paid for using federal funds are being affected by the government shutdown. The state is sending furlough notices to unions representing tens of thousands of state workers as a precaution in case there is an extended shutdown of the federal government.

The state gets more than 40% of its budget, or just over $20 billion, from the federal government.

The Associated Press reports that Michigan will lose $18 million each day of the shutdown.

Michigan budget director John Nixon says he worries about welfare and food assistance programs because spending on them normally is protected in a shutdown, but the programs weren't reauthorized. The 1.6 million Michigan residents on food stamps will be OK in October because their debit cards have already been loaded.

Tuesday, October 1, 9:15 a.m.

Michigan will feel the effects of the federal government shutdown.

Some will feel the pinch sooner than others.

41% of Michigan’s state budget comes from the federal government. A shutdown doesn’t mean all that money will stop flowing immediately, but it will slow.

Several food and other assistance programs for the poor will be affected sooner than most.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ health programs will not be affected by the shutdown.

An unknown number of federal employees in Michigan are being furloughed, including about 900 Michigan National Guardsmen and women. And the shutdown may force the cancelation of training for 12,000 guardsmen.

Want to get away? Don’t plan on going to one of Michigan’s National Parks. The shutdown will mean the parks will have to close.

The effect of the shutdown will expand in Michigan the longer it takes for a deal to be reached in Washington.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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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