Shutdown ends, KOTA Territory returns to work - KOTA Territory News

Shutdown ends, KOTA Territory returns to work


After weeks of political unrest, President Barack Obama quickly signed a deal Wednesday night, passed by Congress to end the partial government shutdown. This pulls our nation back from what could have been a historic debt default.

With the end of the shutdown, many furloughed workers are now returning to work, many of whom are right here in KOTA Territory. "Everyone is very happy to be back and the public is happy we're here," said Maureen McGee-Ballinger, spokeswoman for Mt. Rushmore. 

That's the reaction Mcgee-Ballinger had when asked about the government shutdown being lifted. "I personally sat up and watched to see the whole event unfold and it was very exciting," said McGee-Ballinger. 

Thousands of federal workers returned to work Thursday, many of whom were right here in Rapid City.

South Dakota National Guard Major Anthony Deiss was also affected by the shutdown. "Me as a federal technician, I was directly affected by being furloughed for a week. That created a lot of anxiety for me and my family," said Deiss.

While many went all 16 days without pay, Mt. Rushmore and The South Dakota National Guard were able to open their doors earlier. "We were furloughed about a week and Defense Secretary Hagel made an announcement where they were going to bring back Department of Defense federal workers. That brought back pretty much all our federal technicians back to the work force," said Deiss.

Some parks were able to open because of donations. "We came back to work because the state of South Dakota and the National Park Service worked out an agreement where they would pay the state of South Dakota through donations and pay to open the park," said McGee-Ballinger.

While the issue is resolved at the moment, in February, things could get dicey yet again. leaving both Mcgee-Ballinger and Deiss hoping for the best. "Hopefully we're never going to do this again and we don't want to," said McGee-Ballinger.

Deiss agreed. "We're just glad we're beyond it now and hope that our leaders in Washington can do what is necessary to keep this from happening again," said Deiss.

Federal furloughed workers will receive back-pay as a result of the shutdown. 

A total of 239 state employers were on furlough in Wyoming.



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