Government Shutdown Could Be Painful For New Mexico

Sep 30, 2013

Credit (401)k 2013 via Flickr

On the eve of a potential federal government shutdown, New Mexicans are preparing for what could be a pervasive shock to families, businesses, and pocketbooks.  The pain will not be felt immediately in all cases, although several federally funded organizations are planning to close their doors Tuesday. 

The Albuquerque Journal reports that more than 6,000 civilian employees working at New Mexico’s military installations would likely be affected as well as National Parks Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs employees.  Military service personnel would still be required to report for duty even though they could potentially miss out on their next paycheck if the budget problem persists. 

New Mexico’s large contingent of laboratory employees can rely on carryover short term funding that Los Alamos National Laboratories and Sandia Laboratories have in their coffers from last year. US Senator Tom Udall (D) says it's unclear how long that funding would last. US Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the shutdown would cost taxpayers $150 million per day.

The Veterans Affairs Administration may have funding to last until the end of the month of October, according to KOAT-TV, but after that veterans' pension payments and compensation checks would likely go unpaid. 

Many early childhood education services will not be immediately affected, according to Debra Baca with Youth Development, Inc. Baca said because their federal grant funding is provided on a calendar year basis, YDI's Head Start funding is good through the end of the year.