Posted: Oct 7, 2013 9:59 PM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
The partial government shutdown hits hard in Wyoming. More than 200 State employees have been forced to stay home Monday.
233 Wyoming employees are now on furlough because their jobs are partially funded by the federal government.
The affected people are employed by the Departments of Environmental Quality, Family Services, Parks & Cultural Resources, and the Military.
Governor Matt Mead says the number of laid off employees could grow if the government shutdown continues past October 30th.
That brings to question, the future of State employees who are partially federally funded in Montana.
According to some good news from Governor Steve Bullock's office, Montana has a $400 million surplus.
This means state employees whose positions are fully or partially funded by the government, won't find themselves in the same situation as those in Wyoming, any time soon.
The Deputy Chief of Staff for the State of Montana, Kevin O'Brien, contributes this to the state's strong fiscal and budgetary position.
"Now, that doesn't mean that the state is backfilling the obligations of the federal government, it means that the responsible fiscal decisions we've made, including Governor Bullock's insistence, balanced budget and a budget surplus, have allowed us to have flexibility through Washington's most recent manufactured crisis," O'Brien said.
O'Brien also said the funding can only go so far.
If the partial government shutdown continues for an extended period of time, the State of Montana may have to eventually furlough those employees whose positions are federally funded.
There is no set amount of time these state dollars can stretch, but they are watching cash balances on a daily basis.