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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Legislation Would Ease Impact of Government Shutdown on Federal Employees

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Legislative leaders are offering bills to address the financial challenges of the federal government shutdown in Delaware.  Two measures would help support impacted federal employees in the state, offering loans and other financial support – and they were said to be moving quickly at press time this afternoon.

The first bill, proposed by Rep. Valerie Longhurst, would provide loans to employees of federal agencies that are Delaware residents during the shutdown. 

The legislation has been circulated “in conjunction with Governor Carney’s office” according to a staff memorandum, and would authorize the state Office of Management and Budget “to partner with financial institutions and non-profit providers to establish a temporary loan program for impacted Federal employees.”  Loans would go up to but not exceed $80,000.

 

A second proposal from House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf would protect Federal employees from being evicted and provide “a temporary stay, postponement or suspension of any payment of rent, mortgage, tax, fine, penalty, insurance premium, or other civil obligation or liability through the courts.”

Legislative staff says the leaders’ intent is to pass both bills in the Senate and House before the two bodies break for Joint Finance Committee meetings.  “To do this,” according to a memorandum circulated Monday night, “the legislation would have to be run under suspension of rules. It would be run in the House tomorrow after caucus meetings.”  This would mean the legislation would be considered without any public hearings.

Legislative language says that 500 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay in Delaware.

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