The impact on North Dakota could be significant should the government shut down. So the impasse in Congress is raising concerns, as some hope for a meeting of the minds by midnight.
"We have a situation where at midnight tonight, there's potentially no appropriation to support government tomorrow," which means more than 400 North Dakota National Guardsmen will report to work tomorrow, but might be told to go home and not come back -- at least for now, says Major General David Sprynczynatyk, Adjutant General, Army, North Dakota.
That's because more than 1,100 soldiers and airmen who work for the National Guard are federal employees. To top it off, "we're still dealing with sequestration. At this point, there's no end in sight."
The Guard says it's taken a toll on resources, but "having said that, I can assure the people of North Dakota we will be prepared to do what we have to in the event of any sort of disaster or any sort of event that would require the National Guard to be called up." In such a case, the state of North Dakota would pick up the tab.
The looming federal shutdown would also impact non-federal civilian jobs -- and job seekers. While Job Service North Dakota is made up of state employees, it's federally funded. "For job service, our staff is the most important and valuable piece for us to be able to translate precious federal resources into services that meet the economic needs of North Dakota," says Maren Daley, Executive Director, Job Service North Dakota. A big part of those services is matching employers to job seekers to fill the roughly 20,000 openings in North Dakota. Says Daley, "the wait times would be significantly increased, because we're short-staffed already."
In the meantime, many are waiting, says Major General Sprynczynatyk, "hoping for a miracle in the eleventh hour."
Officials at both the National Guard and Job Service indicate they will be watching closely to see if the shutdown, slated to occur at midnight, actually happens.
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