Are You Essential? What a Government Shutdown Could Mean for Arizona
The possibility of a government shutdown is looming and everyone is talking about it. In military communities where people depend on the base for their livelihood, businesses, and families have valid concerns. In Cochise County near Fort Huachuca, for example, the impact could be felt more keenly than most of the nation.
Government shutdowns have happened before, and are frequently resolved before the first missed paycheck. Watching Congress, it's hard to guess if they'll avoid disaster by the eleventh hour this time around. But while our representatives in Washington deliberate, the stress on Arizona families is growing.
The Impact of a Government Shutdown on Arizona
Arizona's nearly 850,000 retirees and over 522,000 veterans won't lose benefits if the government shuts down. Arizona families connected to the military, civil service, and government contractor jobs would feel the negative influence on a more drastic level.
What the Government Shutdown Could Mean in Arizona
- Active Duty Military would still have to work every day to keep the country safe. However, they won't get a paycheck until funding returns. Unless the government is funded, they will miss their first paycheck on October 13th.
- Civilian employees and military contractors would also stop receiving paychecks. Those considered nonessential would be furloughed.
- Government retirees' pay is funded from another account, so their pay will be unaffected.
- Veteran benefits also come from a different pot of money and would continue. That said, some VA services may be closed, limited, or delayed.
How Long Could the Government Shutdown Last?
How long this government shutdown could last is anyone's guess. Everyone is hoping for the best-case scenario: no government shutdown at all.
In the last twenty years, the average shutdown has lasted 9 days. The shortest was fewer than 9 hours.
The longest government shutdown in the last two decades happened during the Trump administration from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019. It lasted 35 days and was the longest in U.S. history.
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