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NC Plans For Unlikely Government Shutdown

NC Office of State Budget and Management

The State of North Carolina has begun preparation for a government shutdown, in the event lawmakers don’t agree to a new spending plan before a current, temporary measure expires on August 14.

State agencies had until Monday to submit plans for coping with a loss of funding.

“It’s purely a precautionary measure,” says state budget director Lee Roberts. “We’re trying to be prudent. We really do not expect it to happen.”

Unlike 2013’s federal shutdown, state lawmakers are not moving to cut off funding; they are disagreeing on how to continue it long-term. But while the prospect of a shutdown is unlikely, Roberts says the process is similar. Agencies list what services can stop, and what can’t.

“We would have a responsibility under the governor’s emergency powers to continue to do things like keep our prisons guarded, as well as other critical functions,” says Roberts.

While a shutdown may not happen, state workers can now find out whether their departments consider them ‘essential.’