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Wisconsin, unlike U.S. government, really is open for business

By   /   October 1, 2013  /   2 Comments

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON – Sure, you might be locked out of Yellowstone National Park, but Wisconsin’s Yellowstone Lake State Park is open and bursting with early fall color.

And maybe a trip to the Smithsonian museums is out of the question amid the partial federal government shutdown, but the Badger State’s museums continue to welcome art, history and heritage seekers.

While the latest congressional impasse may be hitting operations at the federal level, the state of Wisconsin, for now, is “business as usual,” according to a state spokeswoman.

“(P)rograms are continuing and staff in federally-funded positions at the state agencies are still reporting to work,” Stephanie Marquis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration wrote Wisconsin Reporter Tuesday in an email.


GO HERE: Say, Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park is still open. Take that federal shutdown!

Marquis said DOA officials, just like about everyone else, have not received any indication from the federal government about the duration of the latest government shutdown. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, did suggest to national media on Tuesday that the stalemate could extend at least two more weeks, just before the next  U.S. debt ceiling clock strikes midnight. Ryan, in the New York Times, said the deadline to address the nation’s debt limit could be “the forcing mechanism to bring the two parties together.”

Beyond state operations, some federal employees in Wisconsin began feeling the affects of the shutdown. Fort McCoy, in western Wisconsin, on Tuesday was preparing to furlough some 900 civilian employees, according to The Associated Press.  The employees are among about 800,000 “non-essential” federal employees expected to be forced out of work by the shutdown.

Marquis said it is “probable” the federal government will reimburse states for any administrative or program expenses incurred during a brief shutdown, but “that is not guaranteed.”

“In addition, we do not know the stance Washington would take on reimbursements if a shutdown lasted longer than several weeks,” the DOA spokeswoman said.

The federal government has reimbursed states and federal employees following previous shutdowns – 17 total in U.S. history.

Contact M.D. Kittle at [email protected]


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.

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