Assemblyman David Buchwald Calls for New York State to Develop Federal Government Shutdown Response Plans

April 15, 2019

Assemblyman David Buchwald has introduced legislation to improve New York State’s response to future federal government shutdowns. His bill (A.7067) creates a process for state agencies to pre-plan actions to address the impacts of any lapse in federal funding or operations caused by an extended federal government shutdown.

“Instead of the State’s current ‘hit-or-miss’ approach, we should have a systematic planning effort to address any extended federal shutdown,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester). “These federal government shutdowns are becoming increasingly common, so we need to be better prepared as a state to react swiftly and effectively to future occurrences.”

Assemblyman Buchwald is Chairman of New York’s Legislative Commission on Government Administration, which seeks ways to increase the helpfulness and accountability of state government operations. During and after the 35-day-long partial federal government shutdown that started December 22, 2018, he helped oversee a review of responses undertaken by New York and other states, revealing opportunities for improvement in New York’s response.

New York did offer deferrals of state taxes and SUNY and CUNY college tuition payments to furloughed federal workers and their family members, and to students who were dependent on loans from the federal government. But other states took additional actions to support their residents who work for the federal government and were furloughed or working without pay. These included actions such as partnering with financial institutions to provide no-cost loans and creating mechanisms to delay credit card, car loan and other monthly payments without penalty.

Assemblyman Buchwald continued: “Other states such as Massachusetts have a formal federal shutdown contingency planning processes. My bill would provide for the development of federal shutdown contingency plans by affected state agencies, which could then be used to enable a rapid and effective response to any extended federal shutdown. Proper planning can minimize the expense of ensuring the delivery of an effective state response to any federal government shutdown.”