How are Fermilab and its employees affected by the United States government shut down?
Pretty much not at all, a Fermilab spokesperson said late last week.
The primary reason is that Fermilab funding comes from the Department of Energy, and the DOE’s fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill was approved by Congress and signed by the president in September.
So far, Kane County hasn’t been hit as hard as other parts of the country have been during the 13-day (as of Jan. 3, 2019) partial shutdown, and the state of Illinois hasn’t received any great body blows, according to multiple government an media sources.
According to an article in the New York Times, many core functions remain unaffected. The mail is still being delivered, entitlements are still being paid and most law enforcers are continuing to work.
The Veterans Affairs Department Department, for example, is fully funded through the 2019 fiscal year. Air traffic control operations continue to run, although some functions of the FAA are restricted. The Social Security Administration already received funding for the 2019 fiscal year, so Social Security checks will continue to arrive in the mail.
That said, about 800,000 government employees are affected, with just under half sent home on unpaid leave and just over half working without pay.
In addition to federal jobs, there are concerns from federal contractors in our area, who are worried they won’t get back pay for any services rendered during the shutdown.
Kane County residents might also be concerned about the longterm effects on tax filing, as 52,000 IRS workers are either working without pay or have been furloughed. According to the New York Times, most Internal Revenue Service operations have stopped.
Another local concern is for those persons who receive food stamps or other help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
According to data posted on the Illinois Department of Human Services website, 19,618 households and 43,251 persons in Kane County received SNAP assistance in August 2018 — the most recent data available.
According to the Agriculture Department, which administers the SNAP program, many services will carry on, while others were discontinued on Jan. 1 because available funds have been expended.
Some states are hit harder by the government shutdown than others — but according to WalletHub, Illinois isn’t among them. Washington D.C. and New Mexico and the No. 1 and No. 2 hardest hit, respectively, mostly because of the number of government employees and contractors in those states.
The personal-finance website today (Jan. 3. 2019) released its report on the States Most & Least Affected by the 2019 Government Shutdown, and Illinois is the 11th least-affected.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of five key metrics, ranging from each state’s share of federal jobs to federal contract dollars per capita to the share of families receiving food stamps.
Impact of the Government Shutdown on Illinois
(1=Most Affected, 25=Avg.)
- 40th – Share of Federal Jobs
- 30th – Federal Contract Dollars Per Capita
- 29th – Real Estate as a Percentage of GSP
- 49th – Access to National Parks
- 21st – % of Families Receiving SNAP (Food Stamps)
To view the full report, please visit this page of the WalletHub website.