Task force created to help Massachusetts residents affected by government shutdown

Boston Statehouse

President Trump agreed to re-open the government for three weeks, so state lawmakers are providing a safety net for those who could be out of work again soon. 

Northampton State Senator Jo Comerford is leading the effort to help those impacted by the government shutdown. 

Comerford applauded the work of Senate President Karen Spilka, who established the task force to address the statewide impact of the federal government shutdown.

The group of bipartisan legislators said they are happy to see the shutdown end, but there could serious consequences if a long term agreement isn’t reached in three weeks.

Gov. Baker said the main focus right now should be on people who are struggling to pay their bills while they aren’t receiving a paycheck. 

“What we’ve been working the most on is trying to make the unemployment insurance system support these folks,” Baker said. 

On Friday, President Trump promised  federal workers will get their back  pay ‘very quickly’ or ‘as soon as possible’ 

With that timeline unknown, state lawmakers said their work is still needed to help residents of the Commonwealth who were impacted by the shutdown. 

The president said he’ll sign a bill to keep the government open until February 15, and hopes an agreement on border security can be worked out with Democrats during that time. 

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