Shutdown In The Sunshine State

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By: Matt Horn
October 11, 2013

If the government shutdown doesn’t end by the end of the month, thousands more Floridians may feel direct impacts of the bickering in Washington. Florida’s top officials say the state will not spend money to help fund federal programs in the state.

As the shutdown drags on, the possibility of food stamp and other aid disruptions looms for Floridians.

“People using food stamps are worried about not getting them anymore. They’re spending their money wisely,” said Eric Trice, an employee at Nichols and Sons Seafood shop.

Trice has seen three food stamps recipients all week. On a normal day he sees up to 15.

“We’ve seen a dramatic change in our retail customers, yes,” said Trice.

The funding for food stamps and the temporary assistance for needy families has money through the end of the month, but Governor Rick Scott has ordered Florida agencies not to spend any money on bills owed by the federal government.

“We’re working through all of our agencies to look at what impacts it’ll have on the state,” said Scott.

Children may be the next target. Smaller school districts in Florida rely more on federal dollars than larger districts. Conflicting reports differ on how long they’ll receive money under a long shutdown.
“We’re looking closely at it again; we’re hoping they’re going to do the right thing. This needs to end,” said Pamela Bondi, the Attorney General for the State of Florida.

11 parks across Florida are already closed due to the shutdown, like Saint Marks here in the panhandle.

The Everglades is the most popular park affected. Regardless, Trice says politicians need to figure the problem in Washington to avoid further issues for people in Florida.

“They need to get their stuff straight and get all of this straightened out,” said Trice.

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