What if they had a government shutdown and no one noticed?
Monday, April 17, 2006 :::
In yesterday's Washington Post, Mike Shear and Chris Jenkins had a summary piece on the status the special session. Manners and patience are slowly dying, that's for sure. But then there was this:
If a budget is not adopted by July 1, many functions of state government could shut down. State parks could close. Summer school could end. Local governments could lose funding for their programs. And all nonessential state services could be put on hiatus.
Kaine vowed Thursday to use his powers as chief executive to keep the state's basic functions operating "until someone with the power to, tells me not to."
So "many functions could" cease. Which ones -- aside from parks and summer schools -- are left to our imaginations. But at the same time, "nonessential state services" might be put on "hiatus."
Sort of like a failing sitcom.
Left unsaid are what services qualify as "nonessential." It's not a list I'd like to be on as a state worker, but it is a list I would very much like to see as a taxpayer, because that list might be an ideal place to begin looking for cost savings in the future.
If I recall the federal government shutdown in the mid 1990s, tourist attractions were closed, and some federal offices (nonessential, of course) were closed as well. Was it the end of the world? No. It was more like the beginning of a buying spree. The shopping malls in and around DC did a very brisk business.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 4/17/2006