© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
Public Files Contact · ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Possible government shutdown would have varied impacts on agencies in western Mass.

The Edward P. Boland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Daily Hampshire Gazette/gazettenet.com
The Edward P. Boland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northampton, Massachusetts.

A shutdown of the federal government could happen over the weekend, but the Department of Veterans Affairs said it would not have any impact locally.

Sarah Robinson, a spokesperson for the VA in central and western Massachusetts, said the department's healthcare facilities in Northampton, Pittsfield, Greenfield, Worcester and Fitchburg will all remain open.

"All of the care would continue," she said. "The VA would continue to deliver benefits including compensation, pension, education, housing. No appointments would be affected. There would be no break in service."

Robinson said in the event of a shutdown, no VA employees will be furloughed and they will be paid.

It would also be business as usual for the U.S. Postal Service.

Spokesperson Steve Doherty said, "postal service operations won't be interrupted and all post offices will remain open. We're an independent entity that's generally fund through the sale of our products and services and not by tax dollars, so our services shouldn't be impacted at all by a shutdown."

Rodney Furr, chief of public affairs at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts, said it's unclear how a government shutdown could impact operations there.

"Every shutdown affects us differently because Air Force Reserve headquarters will send down guidance on what individuals and skill sets are considered mission essential and which are not," he said. "And we are actually awaiting that guidance so it's hard to say who will and will not be affected and how our mission will or will not be affected."

Furr said the guidance was expected Friday night.

He said if there is a shutdown, essential services like fire protection, security and air traffic control would remain in place. Flying missions already scheduled for next week would also still happen.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content