How Would Federal Government Shutdown Affect Kane County?

How Would Federal Government Shutdown Affect Kane County?

Would a federal government shutdown affect us here in Kane County, IL?

Indicators are a little sketchy at this moment, but the short answer is yes, although “essential” government services would continue.

A federal government shutdown would go into effect at midnight Friday unless Congress passes a new spending bill and President Donald Trump signs it into law.

On Tuesday night, House Republican leadership put forth a bill that would fund the government for an additional four weeks, according to news reports.

Will Fermilab Stay Open?

A Fermilab spokesperson said any inquiries regarding a possible shutdown should be forwarded to the Department of Energy. Kane County Connects sent a followup email to DOE contacts but has yet to receive a response.

Back on April 8, 2011, Fermilab ran into a similar situation.

According to a note on the Fermilab website, a shutdown at that time would “not immediately affect FRA employees.”

“Fermilab has sufficient monetary reserves in its contract from DOE to continue operating for about four weeks,” Fermi wrote back in 2011. “Employees of FRA will be able to continue working for a minimum of one month during a government shutdown.”

Here’s the DOE’s contingency plan “in case of a lapse of appropriations.”

Again, the impacts as of Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, have yet to be determined.

What About Passports?

“If you need a new passport, you might want to put your request in now.”

That’s what USA Today says in a report posted Jan. 16 and undated today (Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018).

Because the State Department’s passport services are funded partly by fees, it is not completely dependent on Congress for money. “But if the stalemate drags on, your application could be delayed,” USA Today says.

You can apply for passport at the Kane County Clerk’s Office. Here’s a link for more information.

Social Security Benefits?

Social Security is one of those essential services. The mandatory program will continue even if Congress fails to pass a spending bill.

Will Local Lawmakers Close Offices?

Again, that remains to be seen, and it pretty much depends on the individual office.

“During previous shutdowns, lawmakers were advised that they did not have to furlough aides they needed to write laws, help them vote, or communicate with their constituents,” USA Today says.

Will Travel Be Affected?

Credit: O’Hare Airport

Not likely.

Some Inside Scoop

It’s more than a little esoteric, but you can check each federal agency’s contingency plan by clicking this link. These plans detail what operations each agency will continue to perform in the event of a shutdown, as well as the types of employees who will be furloughed (given a temporary leave of absence).

  • Editor’s Note: This article will be updated as more information becomes available.