3 Oct 2013

Effects of US federal shutdown widen in CNMI

4:25 pm on 3 October 2013

Agencies in the Northern Marianas dependent on U.S. federal funds had no recourse but to cease operations yesterday as the shutdown of the U.S. government entered its second day today.

The American Memorial Park on Saipan was forced to close and nine of its staff were furloughed.

Employees of the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority were also relieved of duty and only Call-A-Ride drivers were allowed to work.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation says its Women, Infants and Children programme has enough funding for now but if the shutdown goes beyond October, recipients could see prioritization of benefits.

Likewise programmes at the Northern Marianas College won't be affected in the short term but if the shutdown is prolonged, the college warns there could be significant consequences.

Meanwhile the local government of Tinian has entered its third day of a partial shutdown after the island's lawmakers failed to pass a $3.84 million US dollar budget for the fiscal year.

The Tinian municipality shutdown is unrelated to the U.S government shutdown.