How will government shutdown affect SWLA?

By: Victoria Waterman

LAKE CHARLES, LA  (KPLC) - Lake Charles resident Kenneth Goins was strolling along pondering what his life would be like if a shutdown was to occur in Washington. In 2006, he was forced to retire after being hurt on his job.  As a result, Goins says he relies on disability checks from the government.

KPLC went digging to find out more about how Southwest Louisiana will be affected.   Here are the nuts and bolts:

-          Social Security office will be closed.

-          Non-essential military and non-essential government workers will not be paid.

-          Getting a passport will prove to be difficult as the process involves a more hands-on approach.

McNeese State University economist Dr. Michael Kurth assures that since many in this area are not directly employed by the federal government that the shutdown will not cause any significant problems.

Seniors and their Meals on Wheels nutrition program is also in question. However, Calcasieu Council on Aging's CFO John Citizen says they are ready for any funding hit as a result of a government shutdown. Citizen says they already getting funding from other sources including the police jury, United Way and their own for-profit bingo.   This bingo game generates just about $50,000 to help out its parish seniors.

Local national weather service office says that in the event of a shutdown that their agency will still continue functioning and weather warnings will continue to go out.

As it gets down to the 11th hour in hassling out our country's budget, many are still hoping for a last minute solution.

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