• Vt said to be prepared for short US shutdown
     | October 02,2013

    MONTPELIER — Vermont Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said Tuesday the state had taken steps to prepare for a federal government shutdown and the impact should be minimal, if the shutdown doesn’t last too long.

    Both the Department of Finance and Management and the treasurer’s office have been monitoring state spending, and departments were instructed last week to speed up the processing of all federal expenditures due to the state.

    “There are some other critical programs that rely on federal funds like Reach Up, where we will pay to provide benefits for now and ask for reimbursement from the feds later,” Spaulding said.

    Reach Up is a program designed to get people off public assistance and into the workforce.

    Spaulding said essential federal employees in Vermont like air traffic controllers and law enforcement officers will remain on the job, but they could see a delay in their pay if a shutdown is prolonged.

    The Department of Labor said Tuesday it was ready to help process unemployment claims of federal employees, and possibly others, who lose their jobs because of the shutdown.

    Meanwhile, the Vermont National Guard said 450 of its employees are being furloughed as part of the federal government shutdown.

    Despite the furlough, Adjutant Gen. Steven Cray said the guard will be “as ready as possible” to respond in the event of a crisis.

    Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock also is closed.

    Three schools had been scheduled to visit the park Tuesday, according to Christina Marts, the park’s assistant superintendent.

    Marts said October is the height of the park’s school visits.

    It usually receives about 20,000 visitors during October.

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