SD federal courthouses could feel shutdown effects later
A government shutdown would have far-reaching consequences for some, but minimal impact to others. If congress fails to reach an agreement to avert a shutdown by midnight Monday, federal employees in South Dakota could be forced to make some changes.
Latest numbers show 11,000 federal government employees working in South Dakota, as of August 2013. Some of those are with our four federal courthouses.
If congress fails to come to terms with a measure by midnight to prevent a shutdown, courthouses won't feel the effects, right away.
"The fact that congress can't pass a budget on time is more of the same, this just happens to be more dramatic," Clerk of Court Joe Haas said.
For most at the downtown courthouse, a shutdown isn't a huge surprise. After all, it has happened before in the mid 1990s.
"We would be more concerned if we shut down this time and spent that fee money... debt limit vote... that would be the bigger concern. Everyone is focused on today and tomorrow, we're going to do this twice ," Haas said.
The Sioux Falls courthouse Clerk of Court Joe Haas says things inside this building will be business as usual for about 10 days, operating normally, until we reach mid-October.
From a citizen standpoint, services will not have many changes. What might change, though, is the amount of employees working.
"We will have to deal with other agencies because other agencies with whom we deal are affected. The people who run this building are members of the executive branch and they will be dealing only with essential employees. We need to make sure we've had discussions with them that the heat will be on, the A/C will be running," Haas said.
Court cases will be heard as usual.
"The Marshal Service is an executive branch agency with different responsibilities, some of them deemed essential like court security, providing prisoners into the court for different hearings. Each of them will have to deal with having essential personnel and non. we'll be having to negotiate with them in terms of services provided to us to make sure we can continue to operate," Haas said.
People at the courthouse tell me they wouldn't be surprised if no deal was reached but as talks in Washington, D.C. continue this evening, everyone in the building will be prepared.
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