Governor Tom Wolf doing what he can to help those impacted by the government shutdown

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The government shutdown is affecting a lot of people and Governor Tom Wolf says he is doing what he can to try and minimize the impact it's having on Pennsylvania residents.

Wolf says they are using state funds to fill the gaps where they can, and agencies across the commonwealth are also working with local organizations and officials that depend on state funding.

The Wolf Administration is taking different steps for each department. For Human Services, payments for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) will continue through at least until the middle of April. Wolf says to make this happen they are using federal funds left over from last year.

The Department of Transportation has received $7.1 million in assistance to deal with operating and capitol costs. These funds come from un-reimbursed federal expenses for operating costs.

The Department of Community and Economic Development is working with the PA Business One Stop Shop to help small businesses while they wait for loans.

As far as the State Emergency Management Agency-- training for first responders that involve federal agencies has been canceled. However, activities related to flooding from last summer and disaster declaration are continuing.

Wolf says the woman, infants and children (WIC) program -- part of the Department of Health, has enough federal funding to help them through February. The Department of Agriculture found additional unspent grant money.

The Department of Labor and industry is working with Rapid Response Services (RRCS) to help the federal workers in the commonwealth easily access resources. Two resource fairs were held on Wednesday, one in Philadelphia and the other in Pittsburgh. Many states including Pennsylvania are waiving certain work requirements for furloughed federal employees  to help affected workers maintain their benefits.

An elevation mapping project that involves federal funds has been put on hold under the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

As far as the Department of Environmental Protection-- final approvals on funding through grants are now being affected. The department is doing what they can but the final approval needs to come from the federal level.

Pennsylvania is currently using state funds to cover payroll for federally funded employees, Wolf says the state will be reimbursed after the shutdown.

 

Wolf is urging businesses and creditors to show compassion for federal employees that are not being paid since the shutdown began,one month ago.

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