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Oregon looking at ways to help amid fed government shutdown

Senator Jeff Merkley said that if aid is provided, he'll seek reimbursement from Washington.

Posted: Jan 23, 2019 4:14 PM
Updated: Jan 23, 2019 5:18 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- With the federal government shutdown in its second month, officials in Oregon are looking to help.

Almost 10,000 federal employees in the state are going unpaid, food stamps for many citizens at risk if the shutdown persists, and huge swaths of federal lands are going unattended.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney says the cost will be in the millions of dollars.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley said Monday that if aid is provided, he'll seek reimbursement from Washington.

Among those working without pay are federal prison guards, air traffic controllers, TSA agents and Coast Guard personnel.

Courtney spokeswoman Lisa Taylor says those not working are eligible for unemployment insurance, and 1,900 have applied. Those required to work without pay, according to federal rules, aren't eligible for unemployment insurance.

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