State Budget Director Says Shutdown Costing Michigan Millions of Dollars Each Day

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

If you want to see the immediate, local effects of a government shutdown, look no further than the Michigan National Guard.

"I'm concerned, I am a little worried, but I am optimistic," said Sgt. 1st Class Jim Downen. "I've got bills to pay."

Downen was one of about 300 Lansing-area guardsmen who left their jobs indefinitely, Tuesday. It's just one effect of losing $18 million a day in federal funding.

That's the amount State Budget Director John Nixon says Michigan is losing while the federal government stays shut down. How significant the impact is, depends on your circumstances.

"If you're one of those people sitting at home, furloughed today, it's going to have a huge impact, but if you look at our overall economy, $18 million a day isn't going to kill us," said Nixon.

However, the real problems aren't far behind, if an agreement isn't reached within the next couple of weeks.

"Most programs are going to be okay for two to four weeks," said Nixon. "If you go past into November, the Food Stamp program, if it's not authorized, you've got 1.6 million Michiganders who will be going without food."

That's just one federal program in danger and Nixon says the state cannot afford to cover the losses. That's why he's hoping for a quick budget resolution.

"Hopefully this thing will be wrapped up by the end of the week," said Nixon. "Certainly, if we go longer than two weeks, we're going to have a much bigger problem."

As for avoiding another shutdown, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says federal lawmakers should look no further than Michigan.

"Our budget was done four months ago," he said. "This is a good example of good government in action and it's something I hope Washington D.C. pays attention to."

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