HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — State economic experts say a shutdown is risking serious consequences for Alabama families.
In the aftermath of a potential government shutdown, a variety of government-funded family services in the state of Alabama would be disrupted.
For families that rely on services to care for the elderly, including both children and adults with disabilities, a shutdown would have devastating impacts while almost financially dismantling essential programs that thousands rely on for health and education.
“The impact on a lot of these assistance programs that a lot of people desperately need would be quite severe, “said Dr. Wafa Orman, professor of economics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Dr. Orman says that state governments would be forced to pay for federal services like temporary assistance for needy families as well as early childhood education. Although federal money for those programs has been set aside, it’s only expected to last less than a week.
“For people that are furloughed government workers, you would hope that they have savings or a credit card that can tide them through a shutdown,” Dr. Orman explained. “But a family that relies on WIC or the Head Start childhood program or even Section VIII housing, they are not in that position.”
The longer a shutdown lasts the worse off health and human services programs would be.
“This is quite the impact of families that rely on these services that could potentially be really bad,” Dr. Orman said.
The Alabama Department of Public Health sent a statement to News 19 regarding a potential government shutdown:
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) will continue to operate under our model and mission to promote, protect, and improve the health of citizens throughout the state. ADPH staff will be monitoring the situation regarding a possible government shutdown.Alabama Department of Public Health