December 1, 2020

Federal shutdown may cause state workers to be furloughed soon

Mississippi’s welfare and child protection agencies could have to begin furloughing state employees without pay because federal welfare money has been interrupted by the federal government shutdown.

Lawmakers who heard his presentation say Department of Human Services Executive Director John Davis told the state House Appropriations Committee on Thursday that he needs to know by Feb. 15 if federal money will resume. If not, Davis tells lawmakers he’ll plan for furloughs at the agency beginning in March.

Child Protection Services Executive Director Jess Dickinson says his agency, which also spends money from the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, could also have to send workers home without pay at some point.

Department of Human Services officials aren’t immediately responding to emails and phone calls seeking more details.