Unpaid federal workers can wait to pay city utility bills, Seattle mayor says

    Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (KOMO News file photo)

    SEATTLE - Federal employees with city of Seattle utility bills caught a break Tuesday when Mayor Jenny Durkan signed an executive order that will defer payments from workers impacted by the partial federal government shutdown.

    Tuesday marked the 32nd day of the partial federal shutdown, the result of a standoff between President Donald Trump and Democrats over his demand that Congress approve $5.7 billion to fund a wall along the nation's southern border.

    Many workers have been furloughed while others in essential services have been forced to work without pay.

    More than 54,000 federal employees work in Washington and roughly 11,000 of them have been furloughed or asked to work without pay.

    "Every day that the crisis of the government shutdown continues, public servants in Seattle are forced to live without knowing if they can provide for their families – and Seattle is put at risk by the lack of federal services that we rely on, from earthquake monitoring to the Coast Guard to affordable housing support," Durkan said in a news release.

    "We are acting urgently to help support Seattle families being hurt by the Trump shutdown. But to truly help families and help Seattle, we need the White House to re-open the federal government today."

    Durkan's order directed Seattle City Light, Seattle Public Utilities, the City Budget Office and the Human Services Department to have a plan together by Friday, according to the release. A phone number will be set up for impacted residents to call for eligibility and enrollment information.

    In the Seattle area, a host of federal offices have been impacted by the shutdown, including NOAA, TSA, the FAA, USGS, the U.S. Attorney's Office and more.


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