published Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Governors warning of 'severe' consequences to states from government shutdown

NASHVILLE - Governors are warning congressional leaders of possible “severe” consequences to states from the partial federal government shutdown as well as a possible battle over raising the nation’s debt level in October.

“States are partners with the federal government in implementing most federal programs,” says the letter, dated Monday, from the National Governors Association. “A lack of uncertainty at the federal level from a shutdown therefore translates directly into uncertainty and instability at the state level.”

That “can lead to the suspension of programs and services, increased borrowing costs or even layoffs - all actions that will weaken our economies and potentially stall the national recovery,” the letter from 2013-14 NGA Chair Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat and NGA vice chair, stated.

The bipartisan plea wasn’t enough to avert the shutdown which occurred at 12:01 a.m. today. Congressional Republicans and Democrats remained at loggerheads, leading to the first partial shutdown of the federal government in 17 years. The fight over a temporary funding measure stems from House GOP opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act.

In Tennessee, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has ordered a review on the impacts to state government.

Civilian employees of the federal government total some 25,140 members of Tennessee’s workforce, according to the federal Office of Personnel Management. That’s 1.36 percent of the total workforce. In Georgia, the number of civilian employees is 71,486 or 3.86 percent.

It’s unclear how many are being furloughed without pay during the standoff between congressional Republicans, Democrats and President Barack Obama. Military functions and areas deemed “essential” are not affected.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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