WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are working toward an agreement that must be met by Sept. 30 in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Local experts say now is a good time to start preparing in case that happens.
“Whether you’re an individual, whether you’re an organization, whether you’re a company, just to really sit down and take stock and figure out what ways could I be impacted by a government shutdown? And, again, there might be people out there thinking it won’t impact you, but they might be a little bit surprised if they start thinking about all the ways,” Dr. Larry Straub, associate professor of management at Newman University, said.
At McConnell Air Force Base, their global mission will continue.
Head Start in Wichita will not be affected because they already have allocated funds for their fiscal year.
Straub says the effects of the shutdown depend on how long it will last. He says typically, there is an 11th-hour deal to avoid a shutdown.
“Not that they solve the problem, but they do continuing resolutions, or they just agreed to kick the can down the road about a month,” Dr. Straub said. “This time, to me, feels different.”
Dr. Straub recommends people who will be furloughed start planning ahead and budgeting for that now. He says this type of situation isn’t going to stop, which is another reason to be prepared.
“You can do some preliminary budgeting; you can start figuring out, okay, the what ifs, the scenario planning,” Dr. Straub said. “And then thirdly, you can communicate with creditors, lenders, folks like that. Let them know that you could potentially be impacted by this. I think the mistake too often that people make is they wait until they’re actually missing payments or they’re waiting until their creditors or lenders are calling them. Well, I think everything works a little better if you’re proactive and you try to get communication with them sooner than later.”
Alisa Klick-Davis is the vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees union. She says paychecks already do not go as far as they used to.
“A lot of people unfortunately don’t have the luxury of having very much money in their savings,” Klick-Davis said. “So it could put a huge strain on the individual employees, but also businesses. They’re not going to be able to pay their rent, they’re not going to be able to pay their car payment, they’re not going to be able to buy groceries, so the community food pantries are going to be overwhelmed. It’s just a cascading effect.”
The Kansas Department of Agriculture issued the following statement: “Federal employees are vital to Kansas’ agriculture community and businesses, including preparation for animal disease mitigation, disaster response, loan servicing, drought assistance, and Conservation Reserve Program payments. While the Kansas Department of Agriculture plays a role in supporting farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses and protecting consumers, Kansans will feel the impact of a federal shutdown, particularly if not resolved quickly.”