How Cities and States Are Easing the Impact of the Government Shutdown

Photo by Ginger Livingston Sanders / Shutterstock.com

The U.S. is now experiencing the longest government shutdown in history, and only a psychic knows when or how it will end.

President Donald Trump has said he will keep the government shut down until congressional Democrats give in and pledge $5.7 billion for the wall he wants built on the U.S.-Mexico border, The New York Times reported this week.

Nine federal agencies — including the Federal Aviation Administration and Environmental Protection Agency — have been shut down since Dec. 22, The Washington Post reports. In those closed agencies, only employees considered “essential,” such as air traffic controllers, report to work.

While working, however, these federal employees won’t see a paycheck until the shutdown ends. Still, there’s some good news: Some states and cities are trying to ease the financial burden they’re facing.

Following is a sampling of the ways that states and municipalities are offering help.

Arizona and Utah: Open parks

Don’t think you can forget about the furloughs by soaking up the beauty of a national park: Many of them have closed due to the shutdown.

But the iconic Grand Canyon National Park remains accessible as part of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s Grand Canyon Protection Plan, which he instituted after the federal government shutdown that occurred in early 2018. And the Utah Office of Tourism’s site notes that several national parks in the state remain open, although services are limited.

Denver: Mortgage help

In Denver, certain workers can apply for financial assistance to help pay their mortgages, the municipal government announced on Monday. The program will provide up to two months of mortgage payments — or a maximum of $5,000 — for those who meet income and other requirements.

And here’s a novel twist: This program isn’t just for laid-off feds, but applies to other qualified applicants who’ve recently gone through “unexpected changes in their employment status,” the municipality says.

Norfolk, Virginia: Payment plans

The City of Norfolk announced on Jan. 11 that it’s offering payment plans to furloughed federal workers upon request. Payment plans are available for water bills, personal property taxes and real estate taxes.

Nevada: Possible tuition deferral

Parents of college students may be wondering how they’ll pay their children’s tuition when their government paycheck reads $0.00.

On Friday, the Nevada Board of Regents — which oversees the state’s higher-education system — will discuss temporarily deferring tuition and registration fees at Nevada’s public colleges and universities for students affected by the shutdown, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Without the deferral, such bills will begin to come due on Saturday.

Maryland: Tax relief

Furloughed employees in Maryland who owe the state taxes may be granted reduced or suspended payments during the shutdown. Affected workers, including federal contractors and federal employees working without pay, who have Maryland tax obligations can call 410-260-4020 or email [email protected], the state said.

More help

Assistance isn’t limited to just city and state organizations.

Some financial institutions — including Washington Federal, the Navy Federal Credit Union and U.S. Bank — are offering no- or low-interest loans to those affected by the shutdown.

Museums from Minnesota to Florida to Oregon are offering free admission to furloughed employees who show their identification. Details vary by location — check with your local museums.

In Hawaii, the memorial to those who died at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 — the USS Arizona Memorial — remains open, thanks to support from Hawaii Tourism and the public.

Individual restaurants and bars are offering deals to furloughed workers, too. They include Mad Fox Brewing Co. in Falls Church, Virginia. According to an Instagram post from the establishment, not only do federal workers and contractors receive a 20 percent discount on food, but “members of Congress (are) charged 20 percent more!!”

What’s your take on this news? Sound off by commenting below or over on the Money Talks News Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These 13 States Tax Social Security Income
These 13 States Tax Social Security Income

Uncle Sam is not the only one looking for a piece of your retirement income. Is your state on this list?

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State
Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State

Are you on track to retire at the same age as most residents of your state?

7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early
7 Reasons You Should Not Claim Social Security Early

The sooner you claim your Social Security retirement benefits, the more you — and perhaps also your spouse — stand to lose. Here are the stakes.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2020
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2020

Follow these tips to save — so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free movie streaming sites offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics. If you love free movies, online sites are where you need to look for the best list of features that are just one easy click away.

4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021
4 Tax Credits That Will Be More Generous in 2021

If you are eligible for these tax breaks, they will slash your federal income tax bill — dollar for dollar.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement
7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement

It often makes financial sense to not pay off your mortgage before retiring.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.