Phone: (314) 843-0102
Fax: (314) 843-0508
flag image

Missouri seeing effects of government shutdown

Officials worried about debt ceiling fight

October 09, 2013 - JEFFERSON CITY — The federal government's partial shutdown has caused state unemployment claims to rise, but state officials are starting to turn their attention to Congress' next fiscal decision — whether to raise the country's borrowing limit.

Missouri Department of Labor spokesman Tom Bastian said last week that the 10.4-percent rise in unemployment claims filed after the government shutdown on Oct. 1 is the highest jump he has ever seen.

Bastian said the department is not allowed to comment about how many of the claims were filed by federally furloughed workers because of a state law that prevents department officials from commenting on employers.

But he said the spike in claims filed can be attributed to businesses impacted by federal workers in addition to the furloughed workers themselves.

"If there's a restaurant right near a federal building, and employees usually come out and eat at that restaurant, those jobs would be affected," Bastian said.

The federal government's next fiscal fight could cause those unemployment numbers to rise and could affect other areas of state government, including education.

If Congress fails to extend the country's borrowing threshold by Thursday, Oct. 17, school districts across the state could suffer the consequences, said Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education communications director Sarah Potter.

"Right now even though most of the U.S. Department of Education is furloughed they are still making most of their funds available," Potter said. "When the 17th happens, we've hit our limit for actually funding those federal programs."

Potter said the state receives more than $500 million in federal funding annually for programs including school lunches, special education and career and technical education.

"All we can do right now is help school districts be informed of the situation, let them know of the possible ramifications," Potter said. "We're hopeful we don't have to cross this bridge but it's hard to tell what's going to happen and what's going to be funded."

Potter said the state's poorest districts would be affected the most.

Last week, Missouri's budget director, Linda Luebbering, warned that the state would have a hard time paying its Medicaid bills if Congress did not raise the debt ceiling by Thursday.

Tags: Web Exclusive

  • Related Editorial
    Impact News
    Mehlville Board of Education votes to name meeting room after Fowler
    Motion to name board room opposed by Trakas, Murphy
    Nov 25 2015
    The Mehlville Board of Education honored the architect of the district’s historic ballot measure Proposition R by naming its meeting room after him last week....
    Our Town
    Wreaths Across America to honor local veterans
    Missouri Civil Air Patrol to participate in wreath-laying salute
    Nov 18 2015
    For the 10th year in a row, members of Missouri Wing Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, will partner again with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that recognizes U.S. military ...
    Sales associates collect items for Ronald McDonald Family Rooms
    Hundreds of items collected
    Nov 18 2015
    As the Thanksgiving holiday inspires gratitude, a spirit of giving grew among a group of independent sales associates at Coldwell Banker Gundaker’s south county office....
    St. Simon girls win City/County Championship
    Nov 18 2015
    This St. Simon's sixth-grade Closed Soccer Team won its league title, the South County Championship and the City/County Archdiocesan Championship with an overall record of 12-0-3. Team members, back row, ...
    School News
    Lindbergh House Tour set for Dec. 6
    Holiday Craft Boutique also will be offered
    Nov 18 2015
    Tour five beautiful local homes decorated in fine holiday style, on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the Lindbergh High School Mothers Club 40th anniversary Holiday House Tour....
Site Search

Type in your zip code and click "Go" to get your 7-day forecast.