Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration is making it clear it has no intention of backfilling federal funding if Washington’s government shutdown grinds on in coming weeks.
If the shutdown persists, state agencies will have to start making decisions this week about whether they have the money to continue paying state workers whose positions are at least partially funded through federal contracts or grants.
Deal’s budget director, Teresa MacCartney, sent state agencies a memo Friday detailing how state government would deal with the shutdown, letting officials know they would not get additional federal funds to operate their programs. It could mean furloughs of state employees who are paid at least in part with federal funding.
“For federal funds approved under a previous continuing resolution or fiscal year, reimbursements may be slowed as the federal government may be unable to process requests,” she wrote, “As a result, your agency must be prepared to curtail federal activities to meet available funds.
“The state will not be able to advance allotments to offset reduced federal cash flow. Additionally, your agency should not assume that funds expended for federal activities conducted during the shutdown will be reimbursed by the state or the federal government once the budget is enacted.”
The federal government foots the bill for roughly two-thirds of the cost of Medicaid, the health care program for more than 1.5 million of Georgia’s poor, disabled and nursing home residents. Many other state agencies rely on at least some federal funding as well.
Officials in the governor’s office have also raised concerns over funding for PeachCare, ahealth insurance program for children. They are concerned about delays in reauthorizing the program.
The program, which covers 9 million children nationally, has been one of the issues at the center of the government shutdown debate in Congress.