LANSING (WWJ) – A federal government shutdown would mean an estimated $18 million-a-day loss to the state of Michigan.
“The numbers are absolutely huge,” reported WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick, who spoke Monday with State Budget Director John Nixon.
Nixon says 40 percent of the state’s budget comes from the federal government — which amounts to a total of $20 billion-a-year.
A lot of those federal funds will be protected; such as Social Security and Medicaid, and road funds, Skubick said.
Other funds, however, would be at risk including Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF); the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; Child Nutritional Services, and others.
Nixon said last week that he hoped a federal government shutdown would be avoided all together. Now, he said, he’s just hoping the shutdown won’t last for long.
So, what should Michiganders who rely these programs expect?
“While the budget and the bean counters met behind closed doors today; they’re hoping for a short shutdown if there is one,” Skubick said, “But, if it was long-term these programs would simply be pared back.”
“And, no, they would not use state tax dollars to make up the loss in federal funding, Mr. Nixon tells us — that would be a bad precedent,” Skubick said.
President Barack Obama, Monday afternoon, said he’s “not at all” resigned to a government shutdown. He says he expects to speak to congressional leaders during the day and in ensuing days to address budget and debt impasses.
The Democratic-controlled Senate was expected Monday to reject the House of Representative’s latest short-term spending proposal because it contains a one-year delay on the nation’s health care law. The two chambers are trying to reach an agreement to avert a shutdown looming at midnight.
Meantime, the looming government shutdown won’t likely affect Federal Courthouses in Detroit — at least a little while.
Spokesman Rod Hansen the have enough cash ready to keep the doors open for about 10 days.
As for what would happen after that:
“As far as contingency plans … it’s pretty difficult to plan, you know, until we know what’s going to happen or what does happen,” Hansen said.
The sentencing for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, set for Oct. 10, could be disrupted if the government shuts down. Other cases that could see delays are Detroit’s own bankruptcy hearings, and a challenge to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.