Governor Mike Beebe says if the federal government shuts down, it will have dire consequences for Arkansas, leaving many without a paycheck and putting children at risk.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Beebe said:
If the federal government shutdown occurs and funding stops, it will greatly hinder the ability of the Arkansas Department of Human Services to investigate claims of child abuse and neglect. More than 85,000 meals for Arkansas children will not be provided and protection for nursing-home residents will be reduced. Two-thousand newborn babies will not receive infant formula through the Department of Health's WIC program. That number includes the more than 300 special-needs babies who soon run out of special formula they can only receive through a certified program like WIC.
As many as 2,000 state employees will be furloughed, with thousands more facing a similar fate if the shutdown is sustained. Losing these jobs affects not only those working Arkansans and their families, it also hurts our local and state economies. That economic damage will be compounded by the furlough of federal employees in Arkansas, as well.
Once again, Arkansas stands to suffer from a crisis wholly manufactured by Congress. What should be a simple and clean resolution to fund our federal government has turned into political posturing by elected officials who, of course, will not be among those hurt by their actions. Arkansas and America deserve better from Washington.