OLYMPIA, Wash. – As news of the Federal Government shutdown reaches the public today, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission reminds visitors that state parks remain open and available as normal, moving into the fall and winter season.
The fall season in Washington typically is inviting to visitors, as fall colors and intermittent sunny weather lures recreationists out to enjoy parks for overnight RV and other camping, for daytime activities such as hiking and biking and for special vacation house rental stays in historic houses, cabins and yurts. The Federal Government shutdown reportedly includes national parks and U.S. Forest Service offices and sites.
Most state park day-use areas and many campgrounds in the Washington state park system remain open year-round, though specific areas within some parks have partial closures or limited access as winter gets under way. The State Parks winter schedule will be finalized and made available later this month so visitors can plan trips and continue to enjoy state parks.
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Representative Derek Kilmer released the following statement after the news that the House and Senate did not reach a compromise by October 1st on legislation to keep federal agencies funded. Yesterday, Representative Derek Kilmer announced he will give up his pay for the duration of a government shutdown.
A government shutdown will cause roughly half of the government’s civilian workforce, about 1.2 million employees to face furloughs. Additionally, national parks will close, veterans’ disability payments may be disrupted, and there will be a suspension of approval of applications for Small Business Loans. It is estimated that a government shutdown will cost taxpayers $150 million a day.
“The fact that some in Congress would risk a shutdown in order to score political points demonstrates why Congress is currently held in lower regard than head lice,” said Representative Derek Kilmer. “I’m voluntarily giving up my own pay during this shutdown because I believe in leading by example. Unfortunately, many federal employees in our region unfortunately won’t have a say about losing theirs. They’ll be furloughed and lose pay through no fault of their own. These employees and the folks who depend on their work deserve better.”
One of Representative Kilmer’s first actions in Congress was to break with members of his party to vote for a plan called No Budget, No Pay – a plan that would withhold pay from Members of Congress if Congress doesn’t pass a budget.
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