Almost 450 Vermont National Guard members furloughed last week were called back to duty Monday. Those returning are not sure when they will be reimbursed for the furlough.
"Believe it or not, the financial's of it are actually still a little fuzzy. We know we were all ordered to work today, so everyone has begun working again. When the paychecks are going to catch up, we are still waiting for information about that -- it's still a little fuzzy," said Vermont Air Guard Major Katherine Irish.
But the Vermont Guard is not out of the financial crisis when it comes to the shutdown. "What it doesn't allow us to do with the continued shutdown is there is no money to do any of the training. We don't have any money to buy parts, we don't have any money to buy fuel, ammo or any of those things that we need to do to train to do our jobs," said Vermont National Guard Major General Steve Cray. In fact, a monthly National Guard training weekend affecting 3,000 troops was canceled.
The Governor joined the Guard's Adjutant General to talk about the effects of the shutdown are having state wide -- and also something else. "How important it is to get the message to our friends in Congress -- lets get this over with fast because it's going to have a huge effect on the quality of life for hard working Vermonters, for job creation and for our military readiness," said Governor Peter Shumlin.
And because of those furloughs, the Vermont Department of Labor saw double the number of unemployment claims last week. "I think you are aware of the fact that many of the federal employees were calling. We saw 438 initial claims filed by federal employees and we also saw many more filed by smaller employers who do business with the federal government ," said Vt. Labor Secretary Annie Noonan.
Despite that, Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says Vermont is in good financial standing partly because the governor's office had all agencies and departments pull down as much federal money as they could be eligible for before the shutdown, to help cover expenses in the short term. "So we are in the situation at the state level where we can temporarily cover things like payroll and certain benefit programs that the federal funds are not available right now. In the short run we can cover the benefit programs, so the state is in a good situation as an enterprise," Spaulding said.
Along with the precarious financial straits, Congressman Peter Welch says something else is at stake. "The other thing that has been put into jeopardy is the reputation of this government to function efficiently on behalf of the American people and the thing I hear from Vermonters, more than anything else, is just absolute dismay that this is a manufactured crisis that we can solve if Mr. Boehner put the Senate bill on the floor for a vote," he said. Welch plans to return to Washington Monday night to continue to wait for a budget vote.
Jeb Spaulding says if the government shutdown lasts beyond mid October, there will be very serious problems for Vermont come November.
Attention is also turning to the deadline that's just 10 days away for extending the government's borrowing authority, by raising the debt limit. If that does not happen, it could plunge the country into a recession much worse than the last one.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 8:34 AM EST2013-12-11 13:34:11 GMT
An upstate New York woman is recovering after she was attacked by a rabid bobcat. The 49-year-old woman said the bobcat pounced on her last Thursday when she was at the door of her Putnam home, whichMore >>
An upstate New York woman is recovering after she was attacked by a rabid bobcat.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 8:50 AM EST2013-12-11 13:50:56 GMT
Vermont author Dawn Grey joins us to talk about her book series S.P.I.R.I.T. The series for young adults mixes the supernatural with action and adventure. Each book has a different area of the NortheastMore >>
Vermont author Dawn Grey joins us to talk about her book series S.P.I.R.I.T. The series for young adults mixes the supernatural with action and adventure.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:18 AM EST2013-12-11 14:18:45 GMT
Winooski police are investigating an accident involving a pedestrian. It happened Tuesday just before 6 p.m. -- outside the Chuck's Mobil on East Allen Street. Police say the man was wearing dark clothingMore >>
Winooski police are investigating an accident involving a pedestrian.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:21 AM EST2013-12-11 14:21:49 GMT
A UVM employee is facing criminal charges after police say he stole thousands of dollars from students. 47-year-old Daniel Austin of Jericho is charged with embezzlement for allegedly stealing nearlyMore >>
A UVM employee is facing criminal charges after police say he stole thousands of dollars from students.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:24 AM EST2013-12-11 14:24:34 GMT
Police say they've caught a University of Vermont student cashing in on prescription pills. 18-year-old Christian Devaul was arrested Monday after police say he was selling Xanax from his dorm room onMore >>
Police say they've caught a University of Vermont student cashing in on prescription pills.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:26 AM EST2013-12-11 14:26:49 GMT
An Orleans woman was arrested after her boss allegedly caught her siphoning cash from the register at the Jay Country Store where she worked. Police say it took 21-year-old Miranda Chaput less than a weekMore >>
An Orleans woman was arrested after her boss allegedly caught her siphoning cash from the register at the Jay Country Store where she worked.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:28 AM EST2013-12-11 14:28:49 GMT
The voters have spoken in St. Albans town and they don't want the sheriff's department to take over for city police. With a vote of 460 to 281 -- St. Albans town voters rejected a plan Tuesday to haveMore >>
The voters have spoken in St. Albans town and they don't want the sheriff's department to take over for city police.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:30 AM EST2013-12-11 14:30:15 GMT
Voters in Vergennes are giving the green light to natural gas. Tuesday residents endorsed the city council's support for Vermont Gas to expand to the city with a 345 to 173 vote. Supporters say theMore >>
Voters in Vergennes are giving the green light to natural gas. More >>