President Donald Trump announced today that an agreement has been reached to temporarily end the government shutdown for three weeks, through February 15th. For the past month during the shutdown, nine out of fifteen federal departments have been closed or reduced operations. While it appears a temporary agreement has been reached, County staff continue to monitor the effects of the shutdown. The impacts described below were written prior to today’s agreement. Given the agreement and the evolving situation, these impacts will likely change in the short-term, but it’s uncertain which government services will immediately be restored and how that will reduce impacts to County departments.
Health and Human Services
Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) related programs are expected to be impacted should the partial government shutdown last through March. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and Housing Assistance (HAP) are expected to be funded through February. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a bi-partisan bill this week that enables continuation of federal funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) throughout the government shutdown; it is expected that the president will sign this bill. SNAP issued February benefits early to access federal funds that no longer will be available as the federal government's shutdown continues. The State asks that those recieving CalFresh benefits plan ahead to ensure that these benefits last through February. The State is awaiting guidance from the federal government regarding the issuance of CalFresh benefits in the month of March.
The State of California has communicated that they have funds to continue Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance through the end of March and authorized vendors have been instructed to continue receiving WIC food instruments.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homeless assistance grants, supportive housing for veterans and housing for people with AIDS will continue to be funded even where current-year funds have not been appropriated. HUD counseling agencies will be unable to update agency profile information, submit activity data, or otherwise utilize the functionality in their Housing and Community Services (HCS) division thus causing further delays in receiving information regarding grant application decisions. The reduction in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) capacity has now resulted in delays in Public Supportive Housing Programs. As a result County of Nevada Behavioral Health is now experiencing a delay in federal payments for the Summer Haven, Winter Haven and Home Anew Programs. Services are still being provided to program clients through a redirection of other county funds. The County does expect immediate reimbursement of funds once the government shutdown concludes.
We have had several furloughed federal workers or their family members seek benefits due to lost wages. Unemployment insurance claims are conducted through the State of California Employment Development Department, and can be done online, by phone, or in person. For further information, or to file a claim, please visit the Employment Development Department website at https://www.edd.ca.gov/.
Public Works is not expected to experience any known delays on the Donner Pass Road Project. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) remains open and construction work should continue on federal-aid highway and bridge projects; however some activities will be placed on hold.
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) operates under annual appropriations and is affected during the government shutdown. Reimbursement payments for federal inmates is now delayed, however the Sherriff's Office is still receiving inmates into the jail and expects to be reimbursed once future appropriations are passed. It is also expected that administration of the FY 18 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program will be delayed due to reductions in the reduction in federal capacity in the Justice Department.
Office of Emergency Services
Nevada County Office of Emergency Services primarily receives funds from the Department of Homeland Security. Funding for disaster recovery efforts such as the Winter Storms of 2017 has already been obligated; however FEMA Mitigation Grant Funding requests have been delayed.