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Government departments in Missouri brace for possible government shutdown


Government departments Missouri are bracing for the possibility of a federal government shutdown on Sunday. 

The government shutdown will occur if Congress doesn’t reach a deal before the Oct. 1 deadline. ABC 17 News reached out to various government departments across Mid-Missouri to find out how the shutdown will affect their day-to-day operations and residents. This included the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri Department of Social Services, Western District of Missouri U.S. Attorney’s Office and Missouri National Guard. 

The Department of Health and Senior Services is unsure how the shutdown will affect some of their services. In a notice on their website, they acknowledged that they expect services serving Missouri to be affected but of how impactful those effects could be. 

“There is a possibility that a federal government shutdown may occur on October 1, 2023. If this should occur, DHSS expects programs serving Missouri to be affected; however, the specific details of the impacts are unknown at this time," the department wrote in a notice on its website. "A large number of DHSS programs and contracts are federally-sourced. Federal partners of DHSS have been unable to provide definitive information regarding the potential impacts. DHSS has communicated with all contractors and partners with as much information specific to their program and participants as possible, and the department will continue to communicate impacts as more details become available.”

A Missouri National Guard spokesperson said it will be able to function for a full year.

"In the case of a government shutdown, the Missouri National Guard will continue to conduct ongoing military operations and the preparations necessary to defend our nation," a National Guard spokesperson said in an email to ABC 17 News. "Missouri Guard personnel in an active-duty status will remain on duty to maintain daily operations but some administrative requests (i.e., records requests, media queries, general information requests) may be delayed. Resources are available for service members and their families if they face financial hardship during a government shutdown. The National Guard, like all the Department of Defense, needs predictable, adequate, sustained, and timely funding, and we hope Congress can quickly reach a funding agreement that provides a full-year appropriation."

The Missouri Department of Social Services said they will be able to provide all their programs through for the next month and a half

“We have a financial staff that has been closely monitoring the situation at the Federal level. At this time we don’t anticipate there will be any impact to our programs at least through mid-November,” DSS spokeswoman Caitlin Whaley said. “We have enough grants and authority to operate until then. Obviously, things can change day by day based on what workers are furloughed at the Federal level but we are confident we will be able to operate at least through October.” 

That includes being able to pay all department members and fund programs such as SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. However, if the shutdown lasts longer than a month Whaley says DSS will have to evaluate all of their programs to see if any changes need to be made. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office will be affected, according to a statement from Teresa Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Moore says that some prosecutors and support staff will work without receiving a paycheck while the shutdown is occurring. 

"Some prosecutors and support staff necessary to fulfill this critical function will continue working to serve the public and the interests of justice, although they will not receive a paycheck during any lapse in appropriations," she wrote in the statement. "Other employees will be furloughed without pay, and some functions of the office will be curtailed or suspended.” 

Employees will be reimbursed once the shutdown is over. 

“This is a difference from past shutdowns. My understanding is that by law federal employees would be reimbursed any missed pay and benefits during the shutdown,” Don Ledford, spokesman for the Western District of Missouri’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, said.

Article Topic Follows: Missouri

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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