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Local federal workers feeling brunt of government shutdown

Posted at 10:27 PM, Jan 09, 2019

PENROSE – It’s more than national park access, upcoming tax refunds from the IRS and food inspections by the Food and Drug Administration.

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is impacting the lives of everyday people, like southern Colorado’s own Katie Kornder.

“So, we’re both going without a paycheck right now,” Kornder said.

She and her husband both work for the federal prisons in Florence. Deemed essential employees, they’re both working without pay and have been for weeks.

“We work in a stressful environment everyday. So going to work, our baseline stress is a little bit higher, I think. And not knowing when our next paycheck is just kind of adds to those stressors,” Kornder said.

The Kornders aren’t alone in our state.

Data from the liberal leaning Center for American Progress shows 15,754 federal workers in Colorado are feeling the brunt of the politics. According to that report, Colorado ranks 6th in the nation for most impacted workers (including Washington D.C.).

That’s led some people to rely on resources like My Neighbor’s Cupboard, a food pantry in Penrose, for help.

“We don’t want to see anybody go through this, but we’re excited to take care of those that are obviously at work right now taking care of the rest of us,” said Amanda Suddoth, director of the pantry.

In the meantime, the Kordners brace for the long haul — thankful for the help of their neighbors, hoping government leaders end the shutdown and soon.

Though workers aren’t being paid right now, Congress will likely pass legislation to provide back pay for those still working.