How Government Shutdown Affects Illinois

Oct 1, 2013

State officials say a short-term shutdown of the federal government should have little effect in Illinois. But the Illinois National Guard says the partial government shutdown is going to have a big impact on its operations, and on communities.

Captain Dustin Cammack says only about 70 of the guard’s 13 hundred civilian technicians will be allowed to work during the shutdown.

That means more than 12 hundred maintenance workers, administrators and trainers who keep the guard running will be forced to stay home.

While the shutdown won’t impact the guard’s emergency readiness, Cammack says it will be felt.  

"Like in my case half my salary is going to be gone so that has a big effect not only just on us but on the community around us, our friends our family and its not going to be fun I’ll tell you that," Cammack said.

Cammack says if the shutdown lasts longer than two weeks, training and other exercises could be cancelled, affecting thousands of Guard members.

Other areas

Springfield's Lincoln Home National Historic Site would be closed.

But air traffic control and weather forecasting are considered critical, so they'd keep going.

Public safety jobs are supposed to be exempt, too. But U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, the top prosecutor in Central Illinois, says he'll have to send a quarter of his attorneys home and a majority of the support staff.

He can only keep people who are, say, in the middle of a criminal trial or a significant investigation.

"There's a lot of things going on; there's a lot of work that we're doing. And this is really quite disruptive and makes it quite difficult." Lewis said.

Lewis says it's difficult to tell an employee, "The government respects your work, but isn't able to find a way to fund your work."

Local residents sound off

Eric Mangek of DeKalb says he's frustrated with all elected officials in Washington.

"I think they should be smarter than they seem to be. They should do the work they are elected to do," Mangek said.

Meanwhile, Valarie Harris of DeKalb says while she agrees with some of the Republican arguments in the debate, their timing wasn't good.

"I don't agree with Obamacare one bit, but there had to be a better way," Harris said.

House Republicans have insisted that any bill to keep the government operating should include provisions restricting the Affordable Care Act.