Federal shutdown didn't harm WV programs - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Federal shutdown didn't harm WV programs

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: One lane of Route 20 near Hinton is back open

    BREAKING: Route 20 in Hinton blocked by rockslide

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:39 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:39:43 GMT
    Dispatchers in Summers County are asking people to use caution this morning while traveling on Route 20.The road was closed at around 8:40 a.m. after rocks tumbled into the roadway.  Route 20 is closed
    Dispatchers in Summers County are asking people to use caution this morning while traveling on Route 20.
  • 1800s schoolhouse found in barn in Mercer County

    1800s schoolhouse found in barn in Mercer County

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:38:55 GMT
    A property owner finds an old schoolhouse during demolition on his barn near the Moncalm area of Mercer County. Historians say the structure is the old Mullins School and believe it's hundreds of years
    A property owner finds an old schoolhouse during demolition on his barn near the Moncalm area of Mercer County.
  • Thanked an emergency dispatcher? It's their day

    Thanked an emergency dispatcher? It's their day

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:06:19 GMT
    Thursday is national Dispatcher Day. We are also in National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. It's a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public and to set aside
    Thursday is national Dispatcher Day. We are also in National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. It's a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public and to set aside
CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -

The West Virginia governor's office wants more flexibility to respond to federal government shutdowns, saying Monday that state services would have been affected during the most recent closure if federal funding had been cut off for more than a month.

The federal government was partially shut down for 16 days after Congress failed to approve temporary funding by Oct. 1 for the nation to operate beyond the end of its fiscal year.

Jason Pizatella, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's deputy chief of staff, told lawmakers at an interim legislative committee meeting that state agencies receiving federal funds were able to cope with the shutdown because they were told to prepare ahead of time.

"I'm very pleased to say that we did not have to change or curtail or eliminate any programs," he said, without elaborating on how state agencies managed to avoid disruptions. "There were no layoffs, there were no furloughs. There was nothing of that nature."

The state has about 5,100 employees who are paid for by the federal government, with the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Resources taking up the lion's share of the state's federal funding.

If the shutdown had lasted more than a month, Pizatella said the impact on the Health Department would have been "tremendous," although he did not give details.

"I am pleased to report we did not have to change any services," he said. "At the same time, we learned some things that we think will require the legislature's help and planning going forward, because I think it's safe to say that we are relying on an unreliable partner at this stage, which is the federal government."

Pizatella provided few details about what possible legislation the governor's office might be considering, but he said that it could involve extending executive authority to make personnel changes. Department of Revenue Secretary Robert Kiss said the state doesn't currently have any statutes detailing a process for ordering furloughs, among other things.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.