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SALT LAKE CITY (Jan. 19, 2018) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s Deputy Chief of Staff Paul Edwards has issued the following statement in regard to a potential federal government shutdown:  

 

We urge members of the United States Senate to resolve their differences and keep the federal government functioning. We also urge them to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, on which nearly 20,000 Utah children depend.

 

In the event of a federal government shutdown the State of Utah’s operations will continue as normal. State support will allow programs that operate in partnership with the federal government to function in the short term, even if federal funding is temporarily curtailed.

 

In contrast to Utah’s most recent experience with a federal government shutdown, this administration is working responsively with Utah to minimize local impacts.

 

For example, in the last government shutdown the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, was not authorized to spend any reserves and had to shut down. This administration would allow the State of Utah to use reserves to keep WIC functioning.

 

Additionally, we have every reason to believe that Utah’s National Parks will remain open, albeit with limited services. As in the past, the state of Utah would consider providing emergency funding to maintain appropriate access and safety in the National Parks throughout the duration of a shutdown.

 

Should there be any disruption accessing federal recreational opportunities in Utah, we remind visitors that Utah’s 43 state parks also offer incomparable outdoor experiences.

 

More information about what visitors to Utah could expect in the case of a shutdown can be found at visitutah.com/shutdown.

 

The largest state organization most directly affected by a federal government shutdown would be the Utah National Guard. Although the roughly 1,000 active duty guard members will ensure that critical functions continue, an additional 1,300 full-time employees who are not active duty, such as federally funded technicians, would be affected. Utah National Guard drills would have to be cancelled.

 

Although state operations are functional in the short term, a cessation of federal funding over an extended period of time could begin to affect some state operations.

 

While we don’t expect long-term economic dislocation because of a federal government shutdown, any Utahns who might become unemployed because of a shutdown can file for unemployment benefits with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

 

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