Here’s what will happen to the Wisconsin National Guard under a government shut downThe Wisconsin National Guard was preparing for a possible government shutdown Monday, a shutdown that came to pass today after lawmakers in Washington reached a stalemate in the continuing budget battle.
By: Rich Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Wisconsin National Guard was preparing for a possible government shutdown Monday, a shutdown that came to pass today after lawmakers in Washington reached a stalemate in the continuing budget battle.
The National Guard gets most of its payroll money from federal appropriations – meaning with the military shutdown, paychecks to guard members will stop. Despite that, the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs will still be ready for emergencies and is determining which critical staff to keep on.
“Basically, we’re taking a look at all the individuals who are going to be furloughed and identifying people who are essential to continued safe operations,” says Major Paul Rickert, a spokesman for the National Guard. “That includes operations that we need to continue because of federal missions.”
Wisconsin’s National Guard has identified a skeleton crew of 210 people that will keep working despite the shutdown. Rickert says those tapped to stay on include critical office staff and security. He says those still reporting to work during a shutdown won't be paid but they will be reimbursed when federal funding starts flowing again. He says those who are furloughed wouldn't be paid at all unless Congress passes special legislation.
“It’s absolutely a hardship,” says Rickert. “It would be a hardship on any family to have their income stream cut off or postponed.”
National Guard members already were furloughed six days this year due to the sequester.
In total, Rickert says 1,050 guard members would be impacted by a federal shutdown. The National Guard hasn't changed any weekend drill dates but soldiers currently attending certain Army schools may be sent home.