WASHINGTON — The National Governor’s Association is calling for Congress and the Obama administration to promptly reopen the federal government and to “commit to fully reimbursing states and territories for the federal expenses they absorb during the shutdown.”
While so far, states have been able to avoid closing or suspending most programs and services by using carry-over funds or state funds, “states are not in a position to be the bank for the federal government,” the NGA wrote in a letter addressed to Congressional leaders and copied to President Obama.
The expenses that the governors want states to be reimbursed for include funding for programs and state employees who are paid through federal funds.
The NGA’s letter notes that the fiscal health of states is tied to the federal government’s fiscal stability. “A failure by our national government to secure a solution to the current budget issues undermines our states’ recovery and endangers the U.S. economy,” the letter said.
The governors said they will do what they can to serve their citizens and bring their citizens core services during the shutdown.
In addition to wanting a solution to the shutdown that reimburses states, the governors also want the solution to restore certainty in federal budget process, create long-term stability and improves the United States’ fiscal condition.
The letter was signed by NGA Chair and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and NGA Vice Chair and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.