Workers not prepared for shutdown

Workers not prepared for shutdown

SPRINGFIELD -- A lot of federal workers were sent home Tuesday because of the government shutdown.
SPRINGFIELD -- A lot of federal workers were sent home Tuesday because of the government shutdown. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has more from the Illinois National Guard headquarters.

About 95% of its civilian workers were handed furlough papers. That's more than 1,200 jobs right here and they have no idea when they'll be back.

The threat of a government shutdown has been looming for weeks. Now that Congress still can't settle negotiations, people like Robert Adams are facing a hard reality they hoped they wouldn't have to plan for.

"A couple of weeks or a few weeks, that's not enough time to react to something like that."

Adams does public relations for the Illinois National Guard, but his position isn't considered vital, so that means no work and no pay.

"It's kind of scary, you just kind of have to cut back, make cuts where you can. Maybe cut the cable off for a little while."

Adams has it a little easier than most though. He's scheduled to go on active duty soon, so when he does, he'll get his paycheck back. But, a lot of his co-workers don't have that option.

"It's been difficult on us to say the least."

Dutch Grove has a family to support. He says he plans ahead for furloughs. This will be the second time they've been sent home this year, but before, it was pre-planned. Workers knew how much they needed to save to get by. This time, they don't.

"Do we need to play for a day? A week? A month? You just don't know and that's very hard. We're a little bit ahead of the game, but that's going to go away real quick if this shutdown lasts very long."

He says the only thing he can do is hope and wait.

"Hopefully there's a quick resolution and we can all get right back to work."

The National Guard is only keeping active duty and those dealing with health and safety on the job. They will all be paid normally, but, in other government departments, the skeleton crews will work without pay.
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