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Indiana Workers Sent Home On First Day Of Shutdown

Federal employees deemed "non-essential" workers were put on furlough Tuesday because of a partial government shutdown.

empty desk

Photo: Gretchen Frazee

Several desks sat empty Tuesday at the National Guard headquarters. About 1,000 federal technicians are being furloughed because of the government shutdown.

Many federal employees in Indiana were furloughed today on the first day of the government shutdown.  That means employees who have been considered non-essential are not working and are not receiving pay.

When Jeff Lowry and around 1,000 other National Guard federal technicians came into work today, they were given four hours to tie up any loose ends before they had to be off the job.

“I’ve been locked out of my job. I cannot perform my job. I cannot volunteer to do my job, so that’s the road I’m on now, and how it affects me day to day is I’m going to look for another job. There are things I need to do to provide for myself and my family, and that’s what I’m going to have to do,” Lowry says.

Lowry and all other federal employees labeled non-essential are out of work until Congress comes to an agreement.

Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security payments will still be sent out.

But those applying for new benefits such as disability or veterans benefits, could see longer delays.

National parks, including the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, are also closed.

Governor Mike Pence has decided to pay the salaries of 244 state National Guard employees who are typically reimbursed through the federal government and would otherwise be furloughed. A spokeswoman from the governor’s office says if the shutdown lasts another week, the governor will reassess whether to continue to pay those employees or let them be put on furlough.

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