How the Government Shutdown will Impact Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Now that the government is closed for business, the big question is "how does this affect me?" Utilizing information from CNN, stories from our archive, and the latest information from area agencies and organizations, here's what we've found:

Will this affect my paycheck?
If you're a government employee, expect to be furloughed. More than 850,000, "non-essential" federal workers had to stay home during the last shutdown in 2013. In Arkansas, many of the 13,000 federal civilian employees went without a paycheck.

In 2013, positions with Arkansas' Military Department, DHS, and the Department of Environmental Quality were also affected.

If you're active-duty military, you'll stay on the job, but if this stretches into February, you likely won't get paid.

Will I still get my mail?
Yes, the men and women at the post office will carry on as usual, because the US Postal Service isn't funded by taxpayer dollars.

Do I still have to deal with my taxes?
Of course! Though the bulk of IRS employees will be furloughed (just like they were in 2013), you're still responsible for filing your tax return. And if you're expecting a refund, it might well be delayed.

Will I get my Social Security check?
Yes, Social Security is considered an essential service, so the checks will continue to be issued during the shutdown. Food stamps also will continue to be funded.

What about kids' health insurance?
Another key sticking point of this debate is funding the Children's Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP. With the shutdown, 9 million children -- whose parents usually earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health coverage -- have less certainty about the future of their health care.

Will this affect my travels?
Probably not. Air traffic controllers, TSA agents, border patrol agents and others are considered essential employees providing essential services, so during a shutdown, they'll keep working. Amtrak trains will keep running, as well, and the National Weather Service will keep monitoring the skies.

Can I get a gun permit?
Probably not until the shutdown is over because a lot of employees at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives won't be working.

Can I go to a national park?
Probably not. The national parks, along with national monuments, will be closed, but the Trump administration says it hopes to keep the gates to some parks open. In 2013, Arkansas' six national parks closed including Hot Springs, Buffalo National River, and Central High Historic Site.

Additionally, the Clinton Presidential Center will largely be closed for business.


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