Federal Shutdown Hits Florida

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By: Matt Horn
October 1, 2013

Tens of thousands Floridians are sitting at home waiting on federal lawmakers to reach an agreement – before they are able to return to work. That includes Floridians who were already furloughed earlier this year.

From the Florida National Guard to several Head Start Programs — thousands of Floridians are being forced to stay home indefinitely. The furlough comes as Congress failed to reach a compromise on a national spending plan.

“It has a devastating impact on our program, on the children we serve, which are 3 to 4 years old and their families,” said Laurie Gan Leiner, Head Start Director.

Tuesday morning about half of the people working Florida National Guard were told to go home until further notice.

National parks are closed until the partial shutdown is lifted. Closed are 11 parks in Florida, including the Everglades in South Florida or Saint Marks in the panhandle.

“Before they make the trip to a federal facility or a federal wildlife management area, check their webpage and make sure they’re open,” said Doc Kokol, Florida Fish and Wildlife.

The shutdown has turned into a finger pointing escapade. Democrats like President Barack Obama are urging Republicans to reopen the government. Republican Governor Rick Scott blames the President for the shutdown.

“President Obama is failing Floridians as Harry Truman said, ‘the buck stops with the president.’ This is a failure of leadership,” said Scott.

National Guard troops sent home were already forced to take eleven days off earlier this summer under cuts imposed by the Federal sequester.

The president signed legislation Monday to make sure 1-point-4 million active duty military personnel are still paid during the shutdown.

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