Press-Republican

Local News

October 4, 2013

Local impact small from federal shutdown

(Continued)

Champagne said the presence of officers patrolling an area “can be a deterrent, or if you get a call of a suspicious person near the border, and the Border Patrol is near the border, they can get there. 

“The State Police might be 30 or 40 minutes away.”

The DA said U.S. attorneys’ offices are also in a tough spot since they have to decide who takes a furlough and who doesn’t.

“He has to decide who is non-essential,” Champagne said. “Is it the people handling white-collar crime or drug cases? But what really is non-essential for a U.S. attorney?”

MILITARY BENEFITS

The shutdown doesn’t mean SUNY Plattsburgh students won’t receive their loans and Pell grants this year, said Todd Moravec, director of the college’s Student Financial Services.

Federal aid for the current year was funded in last year’s federal budget, he explained. 

Should it continue for an extended period of time, though, it could affect next year’s programs. 

The stalled government, however, does affect military benefits, such as tuition assistance, for active-duty students, Moravec said, as the government won’t make those payments during the shutdown. 

Still, he added, the college would never hold those students accountable for the government funds. 

“We would just wait for the payment,” Moravec said.

The shutdown, he noted, has also made it impossible for students to register for the draft and for the college to confirm whether students have done so, as the website used for such purposes is currently inactive.

WORSE FEAR

But more concerning than the shutdown, Moravec continued, is the debt ceiling, because if that is not raised, it could interfere with the government’s ability to pay its bills and delay the college from drawing down millions in federal aid.

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