Written by Chriss W. Street
State and local governments are very familiar with the impact of a federal government shutdown, since there have been 17 since 1976. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan each dealt with six shutdowns that lasted from one to eighteen days during their terms in office. The United States Treasury estimates that if an agreement on the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling is not reached by Oct. 17, it will have only $30 billion per day to fund commitments. Net daily expenditures reach as high as $60 billion, but actual default on missed payments would not happen until November 1st. If the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised, then all spending — including non-discretionary spending protected in a government shutdown — would be eligible for cuts.
“A couple of days is a pain in the neck … but doable; nobody likes it, but it happens,” says Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers. “The longer a shutdown goes, the longer the impact it starts to have.” Continue reading