A government shutdown could take effect today at midnight, and Californians are worrying about how they could be affected.
The good news is that unless you are a federal government employee, in the military, or a tourist in a state park, your day-to-day life will remain relatively unaffected in the short term. The Sacramento Bee reports that water will continue to flow and social security checks will continue to arrive.
The bad news is that a prolonged shutdown could have a deleterious effect on California’s overall economy. Federal employees who aren’t classified as “critical to protecting life or property” will be furloughed, which means a slowdown in federally-funded government programs that affect “areas from higher education to law enforcement,” according to NBC LA. And while the IRS will continue to process tax returns, refund payments will be delayed until the bureau gains back its furloughed employees. Finally, tourists and visitors to California’s state parks would have to be escorted off the grounds. NBC LA reports that this “could hurt tourism, and by extension the state’s economy. California’s national parks had nearly 35 million visitors in 2010; the estimated economic impact to the state from the parks is more than $1 billion.” The City Maven quotes Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said Los Angeles stands to lose $560 million during the potential shutdown, adding that ““It’s outrageous… Look, these people are bringing us to the brink of disaster and it’s a perfect example of why people are so turned off by the partisanship you see in D.C.”