The readers’ forum

Shutdown adversely affecting Broward

 

Has the partial shutdown of the federal government affected you directly yet? It has affected Broward County. Our county staff has compiled a very detailed list of what Broward County services have now stopped or are in jeopardy as the squabbling continues in Washington.

Some of our veterans and older adult services have felt an immediate impact from the shutdown. Certain Veterans Benefits Administration functions have been suspended, including the Education Call Center, all public contact activities, transition assistance, and Chapter 36 counseling and education compliance. Veterans’ compensation, pension, education and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended shutdown. Senior nutrition programs and those that prevent elder abuse and neglect are not being funded.

At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, air traffic controllers, Customs and Border Protection officers and TSA security agents at gate checkpoints have not been affected. But administrative personnel have been furloughed, meaning officers are also having to cover those functions, too. If the partial government shutdown goes much longer, it could create problems for these agencies in time. The same goes for our Port Everglades, where the Army Corp of Engineers is operating day-to-day right now and this could definitely affect the county’s ability to continue our ongoing project to deepen the port channel to handle larger ships and keep our Broward economy growing.

These are just a few of the things impacted already by the partial federal government shutdown. Let’s hope our representatives in Congress can settle their differences and get back to funding key programs in our communities.

Stacy J. Ritter, Broward County Commissioner,  District 3, Fort Lauderdale

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