Area government workers frustrated by shutdown

Plenty of ‘real work’ isn’t getting done, they say

October 06, 2013

Mike Mikulka, a senior environmental engineer for the EPA, does yard work at his home in Crystal Lake while the governement shutdown keeps him out of work.

Mike Mikulka, a senior environmental engineer for the EPA, does yard work at his home in Crystal Lake while the governement shutdown keeps him out of work. (Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune)

Mike Mikulka was supposed to spend last week in Marinette, Wis., overseeing a $110 million project to clean up the Menomonee River, which is contaminated with arsenic.

An environmental engineer in the Chicago office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mikulka never made it to the site. He was sent home from work Tuesday, with a phone number to call to find out when he could return. The river cleanup, which is being handled by a private company, continued without him.

“Basically, it’s being done without (EPA) oversight,” Mikulka said. Continue reading “Area government workers frustrated by shutdown”

White House: Sequestration Would Mean Hundreds of Thousands of Furloughs

White House: Sequestration Would Mean Hundreds of Thousands of Furloughs

USDA food safety inspectors could be furloughed two weeks.
USDA food safety inspectors could be furloughed two weeks. AP file photo

The White House on Friday put out a fact sheet reiterating that the across-the-board spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1 would result in widespread furloughs of federal employees who provide critical government services from tax collection to law enforcement.

Because the sequester would occur later in the fiscal year than originally planned, non-defense agencies would be forced to absorb a 9 percent cut for the remaining seven months of the year, and the Defense Department would see a 13 percent cut, the White House said. Continue reading “White House: Sequestration Would Mean Hundreds of Thousands of Furloughs”