Government Shutdown Leads to Uncertainty in Mid-Missouri

6 years 11 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, October 01 2013 Oct 1, 2013 Tuesday, October 01, 2013 2:12:00 PM CDT October 01, 2013 in News
By: Eric Hilt, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - After the U.S. Government shut down when Congress failed to pass a budget, federally funded organizations spent Tuesday trying to figure out a plan for what's next.

The Columbia Housing Authority receives most of its money from the federal government and Director Phil Steinhaus said he was very concerned when he learned the government was shutting down.

"We're distressed because that's going to create problems for us financially because we draw down funds on a monthly basis," Steinhaus said.

The housing authority supplies housing vouchers and public housing to underprivileged people in Columbia, and without federal support the group loses $12 million a year of funding. Steinhaus said the housing authority has a plan to continue operating through December, but will run out of income come the end of the year.

"Right now the Columbia Housing Authority has about four months of operating reserves...so we're probably good for the next three to four months, and then we would be in serious trouble after that," Steinhaus said.

Another group impacted by the government shutdown is the Missouri National Guard. Major Tammy Spicer said the national guard isn't completely sure what the next step is, but she said it is taking extra care to make sure the right decisions are made about furloughs.

Spicer said national guard employees across the state are at risk to be furloughed, but the national guard is not sure how many employees will need to be sent home.

"Right now we are working diligently to determine, of the 1,400 federal technicians, how many of those are excepted positions and will work through the shutdown and how many are non-excepted and will be put into a non-pay, non-work status for the duration of the shutdown," Spicer said.

Other employees will continue to work, but will not be paid until the government comes to a resolution.

The national guard already cancelled a drill that was scheduled for October 5, and has to reschedule the drill for after Congress comes to an agreement. Spicer said the national guard will still be able to respond to Governor Nixon's orders while the government is shut down.

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