UWS Professor Talks Local Impacts of Government Shutdown

Taylor Holt
Updated: January 22, 2018 10:10 PM

After being shut down for three days, the federal government is moving towards reopening. Lawmakers have agreed to a deal, but many people have already and are still being impacted by the shutdown -- including in the Northland.

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"We've been through this before so I think we've learned from the past in terms of how to get through and deal with it," said Alisa Von Hagel, UWS Associate Professor of Political Science.

She says this government shutdown was significantly less compared to the last one we saw...which is a good thing.

"The last government shutdown went in 2013 for 16 days," said Von Hagel.

However, it has still created problems for many locally.

"There are some people who will encounter problems or who will have to deal with not getting paid or people not being able to access certain services," Von Hagel added.

Furloughs were signed for federal workers starting Saturday. However, all essential services are still functioning - that includes Social Security and law enforcement agencies.

"It's the non-essential employees that will be furloughed so EPA is still working throughout the entire week.

Von Hagel says it's more of a partial government shutdown.

"Because there are a lot of agencies that are still up and running," she said.

The Minnesota National Guard says they've furloughed it's non-excepted federal technician employees.

A statement from the guard says in part:

"Minnesota National Guard soldiers and airmen will continue activities in the absence of available appropriations if they are determined to be required to maintain national security or to provide protection of life and property. Our remaining full-time force will remain at work" 

If you were worried about your mail being impacted, the U.S. Postal Service tweeted they would not stop serving residents.

As for national parks, as of Saturday a third of the Country's 417 national park sites were completely closed according to the National Parks Conservation Association.

Some though will have limited access.

A local family was dealing with closed parks Monday while they were on vacation in Washington D.C.

Eyewitness News did a story back in November on Dexter, a 7 year-old  battling Nueroblastoma. One of his bucket list wishes was to go on a NASA tour with the government shutdown it wasn't looking promising.

However, thanks to Monday's Senate bill, it looks like he will be able to check another thing off his list.

"There seems to be fairly high hopes for this Senate bill," said Von Hagel. 

The bill has passed the Senate and the House. It will now head to the President's desk to reopen to the Government by Tuesday morning.


Taylor Holt

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