SALT LAKE CITY - In light of the possible shutdown of the United States federal government, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and his staff have directed state agencies to prepare contingency plans for operations, as well as up to 4,500 impacted state employees who run federal programs locally.
"Watching the federal government wrangle over trillions in their budget and risk a possible complete shutdown makes me all the more grateful for and proud of the State of Utah," said the Governor. "We balance our budget every year. That kind of stability matters to everyday Utahns."
State statute requires that programs funded with federal dollars must be reduced commensurately with any reduction in federal funding. State agencies have also been directed to identify programs most at risk of interruption of funding without reimbursement or permanent discontinuation of funding and to stop incurring any expenses beyond the date that funding is available. In most cases, that date is April 9.
The Governor's Office has given agency directors flexibility to furlough or temporarily reassign employees to existing vacancies. Depending on the funding source for their positions, a shutdown could impact some employees more than others.
The Governor's budget chief, Ron Bigelow, said, "If a shutdown is only temporary, general impacts should be less perceivable to the public, because programs like TANF and food stamps remain funded. But the longer it continues, the impact will be more significant to the entire state, as general public spending will be impacted."