As Shutdown Lengthens, Hawaii Worries About Federal Reimbursements

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Four days into a partial shutdown of the federal government, Hawaii continues to maintain public services that depend on financial support from Washington.

"There hasn't been any reduction in state programs that are federally funded," Budget and Finance Director Kalbert Young said at a press conference Friday at the Capitol.

One of those programs is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. While TANF funds were not reauthorized by Congress before the Oct. 1 deadline, the state has carryover money from last year.

The problem would come, said Young, if the budget standoff between House Republicans and Senate Democrats (and their ally in the White House) continues for much longer. What if, he said, the state has to cover Medicaid expenses for a month, something that he calculated could cost as much as $200 million?

Speaking of the prospect of fronting money and then waiting for reimbursements, Young told reporters, "That's a pretty sizable hit."

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