Local Impact of Possible Gov't Shutdown
ELMIRA -- (WENY) A federal government shutdown can happen tonight if lawmakers on Capitol Hill can't agree on a short-term spending plan. And here locally, federally funded programs are watching the outcome on Capitol Hill very closely.
According to the Federal Administration for Children and Families, grants for Head Start programs throughout the nation that expire tomorrow will not be renewed.
Offices across the nation apply for federal grants at different times during the year. In Chemung County, they applied in July, so that money has already been given to them and they don't have to worry until next Summer.
But here locally, they were told they may have limited access to some support services from the federal government through their regional offices.
In Chemung County, head start provides services for over 300 kids. EOP Chief Program Officer, Bill Brodginski says he can only imagine, what those feeling the impact right away, are going through. He says there still is some confusion as to what will happen with future grants.
"The grants that are under renewal now will continue to submit their grants to the government," said Brodginski. "Then they will be reviewed once they get this more clear."
Meantime, County Executive, Tom Santulli thinks the shut down is going to be very short lived, if it even happens.
He says the airport was his first concern because Federal Employees work there and could potentially have to work without being paid. But air traffic controllers and TSA inspectors will not be affected by this shut-down.
Santulli says federal money for local human services is also safe.
"People don't know what to make of all this," says Santulli. "And right in the middle of a time where you can't figure out what to make of something as big as healthcare, and the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare, we're gonna shut down government?"
Santulli says there may be an impact way down the road, but he doesn't see the shut down lasting for that long. Social security checks will not be affected, nor will Medicare coverage.