If you could take a moment today to call the Governor's office and ask Governor Brewer to reconsider her position and use her powers to keep the Grand Canyon open, that would be great. Explain how much you have worked to get your boats to Lee's Ferry, with time off work, plane tickets purchased, boating gear and food purchased, money paid to the NPS in access fees and rental fees. you know what you had to do to get your trip together. Her Phoenix number is (602) 542-4331, press option 4 to speak to a real person.
Thanks, yours, tom
Brewer meeting with cabinet for shutdown preparations | Arizona Capitol Times
Brewer: State won't pick up tab to keep Grand Canyon open during shutdown
By Jeremy Duda and Hank Stephenson -
Published: September 30, 2013 at 4:03 pm
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer explains during an impromptu press conference following the passage of her Medicaid expansion plan that she and her advisors had considered having the legislative leadership ousted in order to pass it.(Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)
Gov. Jan Brewer met this afternoon with members of her cabinet to discuss preparations for a possible shutdown of the federal government, which would affect a wide array of Arizona agencies and services, and even the Grand Canyon State's namesake.
President Obama and Congress have until midnight to reach an agreement on a continuing resolution that would fund the federal government, which congressional Republicans say should be contingent on the defunding and delay of the Affordable Care Act.
If they do not come to an agreement and the federal government shuts down, federally funded sites in Arizona such as the Grand Canyon would be shuttered.
Brewer was a lawmaker during the last federal shutdown, in 1995, when then-Governor Fife Symington negotiated with the U.S. Department of the Interior to keep the park open on the state's dime. The feds later reimbursed the state for its efforts.
But Brewer won't be following Symington's lead, she said.
"I don't know if the Grand Canyon is a high priority for the state of Arizona. We have a lot of other priorities out there like our National Guardsman and children," she said.
Brewer Spokesman Andrew Wilder said times were significantly different in 1995. Today, Arizona doesn't have the financial resources to pick up the tab for federal programs, he said, noting the governor has a "strong desire" not to use the more than $450 million currently in the rainy day fund to fill the gaps in federal funding.
Several state agencies, such as the Department of Economic Security, Department of Health Services and the Arizona Department of Transportation, are heavily reliant on federal funding and could be compromised depending on how long the shutdown lasts.
Each agency will be affected differently by a showdown, with some feeling the crunch immediately and some will be able to for weeks or months without federal funds, he said.
The Department of Economic Security, for example, receives more than 80 percent of its funding directly from the federal government or through federally operated programs.
However, many federal entitlement programs are forward-funded, meaning the appropriation for the first quarter of federal fiscal year 2014 was already included with the federal fiscal year 2013 appropriations.
In those programs, federal funding should continue to be available after September 30 and the Department does not anticipate a disruption in services, according to Tasya Peterson, director of communications for the Department of Economic Security.
"(I)n the short-term, the Department will be able to continue normal operations for most programs for a short period of time," Peterson wrote in an email.
However, two major programs providing assistance to low-income people will be affected immediately.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds cash assistance payments averaging $207 per month to approximately 16,300 Arizona families. In the absence of a federal budget, these payments would cease beginning October 3.
The Social Services Block Grant funds a wide variety of services provided by local governments, non-profits, and other community organizations, including services for the elderly, domestic violence shelters and housing for the homeless. Grants normally made to these local entities on October 1 will be delayed if the federal government shuts down, according to Peterson.
Less than a week ago, the Brewer administration was bullish on the possibility of Obama and Congress reaching a deal that would avert a shutdown. But with the deadline looming and little progress made, the Governor's Office doesn't anticipate an agreement.
Brewer said Congress has a responsibility to negotiate a budget that can pass both chambers and be signed by the president. But she didn't place the blame solely on House Republicans who are demanding defunding and delaying that Obamacare be part of the negotiations.
"It's unfortunate that everybody down there, including the president, including Congress, that they can't come together and come up with a plan that works. In government we work under the theory that you have to compromise," she said.