What does government shutdown mean for agencies in Michigan ?

By Joanne Marie Hoopes, ClickOnDetroit.com writer
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:11:57 AM EST
Updated On: Oct 01 2013 02:30:17 PM EDT
DETROIT -

The deadline to avoid a government shutdown came and went at Tuesday 12:01 a.m.

Michigan National Guard:

A federal shutdown could affect Michigan National Guard members.
Due to an absence in appropriations, there would be an emergency furlough suspension of operations, according to guidance provided by Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard.
Approximately 900 Michigan National Guard military technicians are at risk of being furloughed until an appropriations bill or continuing resolution is passed. Many of these Soldiers and Airmen were furloughed for six days just two months ago. Training and other duties would be cancelled impacting another 12,000 Guardsmen.
"We have updated our plans to prepare for an orderly shutdown, while inconvenient, we can and will continue to support key military operations that are necessary for the safety and welfare of our citizens," said Vadnais.

A bill was passed on Sunday by the House of Representatives allowing for the continuation of pay for active duty military members but this does not apply to military technicians or National Guard member in reserve status.

Federal courthouses:

Federal courthouses in Michigan likely would keep the doors open during any shutdown.

Read: Michigan federal courts OK for a while under shutdown.

VA Medical Centers:

The Detroit VA Medical Center issued the following statement: "It’s important to know that the Veterans Health Administration, the branch of VA that operates our VA medical centers, including the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, has advance appropriations for fiscal year 2014.  This means that our hospitals, clinics and other health services will remain open.

Regarding benefits payments administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration: Claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs will continue through late October. In the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs will be suspended when funding runs out. In the event of a prolonged shutdown, VA will continue to review and update its plan in conjunction with the applicable legal requirements and circumstances."

US Fish & Wildlife Services in Michigan:

In the event of a lapse in appropriations National Wildlife Refuges will be closed to public access. Visitor Centers and other buildings will be closed.

All activities will be canceled on federal lands and public buildings until the government reopens.

This includes hunting and fishing activities on federal public lands and care and feeding activities at hatcheries and captive breeding program. Employees and others may not volunteer their services on behalf of any federally funded wildlife program.

Wildlife Refugees in Michigan that would be affected include the Detroit River. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie, just 20 miles south of Detroit and 50 miles north of Toledo, Ohio.

More: Thanks a lot, Washington! Stocks fall again.

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