Special to SEGAZINE
More than 77,000 executive branch civilian workers in Georgia could be furloughed if the federal governmentpartially shuts down at midnight on Tuesday. Although the government will not halt altogether, this shutdown has many Georgians bracing for the massive disruption and ripple effects that it will cause.
Services such as Social Security, Medicare reimbursements, and food stamps would continue to be active, as well as the United States Postal Service. Federal Courts will remain open as well, although it is not known for how long. Entities such as the Women, Infant, & Children program will be affected as will National Parks across the United States, which will close. In addition, lower-income and first-time home buyers would not be able to get a federally backed loan.
Georgia’s state government will continue to function as normal in the event of a federal shutdown, although experts say that a lengthy standoff could prove to be extremely disruptive. The state spends roughly $12 billion in federal money, between 31 and 32 percent of the state’s budget, with most going to Medicaid, school lunch and special education programs.
Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides worldwide AIDS prevention and vaccinations for children, will not be affected in the event of a shutdown.
Funding for the CDC and its programs is mandatory, but according to the Department of Health and Human Services, in the event of a shutdown the CDC will have a “significantly reduced capacity to respond to outbreak investigations, processing of laboratory samples, and maintaining the agency’s 24/7 emergency operations center.”