By Matt Murphy
State House News Service
---- — BOSTON - With the partial federal government shutdown poised to move into its third week, Gov. Deval Patrick sent a letter today to state government employees informing them that furloughs and layoffs are “not imminent,” but remain a possibility the longer the stalemate in Washington continues.
“The shutdown is hurting Massachusetts. Federal contracts going unfunded and federal programs at risk of running out of money do both direct and indirect harm to our people, our businesses and our economy as a whole,” Patrick wrote in the emailed letter obtained by the State House News Service.
He wrote, “Some programs in state government are funded in whole or in part through federal grants and, in those cases, there is the potential for furloughs and layoffs of staff. This is not imminent. We are doing our best to calculate at what point in a prolonged federal shutdown we may have to take state action, and will communicate with you as and when we have a better handle on that.”
Patrick urged Congress to not only pass a budget reopening the government, but also one that will reimburse states for any costs incurred to keep agencies and programs running while their federal funding streams were cut off.
“Governors across the political spectrum have joined in that very appeal,” said Patrick, who is currently in Canada on a trade mission.