Despite federal shutdown, its status quo locally
City hall and schools not impacted in short term
With the federal government shutdown, and more than 800,000 workers furloughed across the country, very little has changed at a local level in Lake Oswego.
City hall remains open for business, as do all other municipal buildings. There also was no impact yet on the Lake Oswego School District.
We dont currently have any direct (federal) government service that would cause us any difficulty in the short run here, school Superintendent Bill Korach said. So ... there isnt any immediate problem that we would have.
The partial shutdown began Tuesday after the U.S. Congress failed to pass a continuing resolution to fund government affairs for fiscal year 2014. Mail, including Social Security checks, will still be delivered, but all federal properties including Oregons Crater Lake, Mount Hood National Forest and the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood are closed. Service also has been suspended at the Bureau of Land Management across the country.
In a statement, U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader, D-Oregons Fifth District, lamented Congress inability to come to an agreement on the budget.
Oregonians expect their Congress to work together to pass a budget, create certainty in the markets for investors and get folks back to working good, family-wage jobs, Schrader said. What they do not expect from us is to pound our chests over lost political causes, risk shutting down the economy and end vital services and investments they depend on.
While Lake Oswego and West Linn-Wilsonville school districts so far werent experiencing problems from the shutdown, some field trips in the area were not so lucky. In Scappoose, a group of fourth-grade students was scheduled to visit Mount St. Helens on Tuesday, only to see the trip canceled when the shutdown closed the National Volcanic Monument.
The closing of the Bureau of Land Management, meanwhile, prompted the shutdown of 4,000 recreation facilities, including visitor centers, facilities, campgrounds, boat ramps and other recreation sites in Oregon and Washington.
However, according to a BLM press release, the bureau will continue limited work including the inspection and enforcement activities for more than 190 oil and gas leases in Oregon and Washington, covering more than 320,000 acres.
Among the BLMs 1,994 employees in Oregon and Washington, 1,967 will be furloughed during the shutdown.
All parks, campgrounds and visitor areas operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Oregon and Southwest Washington are also closed. Customers with camping reservations can call 1-888-448-1474 to cancel and receive a refund.
Security personnel will remain on the grounds, the Corps said.
While federal workers stay home, members of Congress will continue to be paid for their service. With that in mind, Schrader made a promise in his statement.
I firmly believe that if members of Congress fail to perform their most basic duty in passing a budget, then they do not deserve to be paid, Schrader said. It is in that vein that I will be donating the congressional salary I collect during the shutdown to a local Oregon charity to be named later.
Its time for Congress to get its act together.
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