Government shutdown could seriously affect state employees' pay
AUGUSTA (WGME) – The budget battle continues in Augusta.
There's still no agreement, and the threat of a state shutdown is real.
If the government shuts down, it's going to affect how state workers get paid, or if they get paid at all.
Maine state employees say without the budget the state isn't authorized to cut paychecks. Wednesday could be the last paycheck thousands of state employees receive until everything is squared away, but even from there it's still complicated.
The Maine State Employee Association says for those who aren't getting paid Wednesday, there's another cycle of pay checks due next Wednesday on July 5, that money is money owed for working in June.
The same would be for July 12's paycheck, but if the government is forced to shut down, those affected employees are not guaranteed to be paid on time or at all.
If the government is shut down and state employees don't work the first week or second week of July, at the end of the month their paycheck will have nothing in it and they won't be owed anything because they didn't work.
They would most likely have to pay out of pocket for health insurance, retirements and other premiums. In Kennebec County alone, the average cost of loss wages per day is over $500,000.
If the government shuts down, officials say there will be a huge economic impact. They say people primarily spend their paycheck in the town they live in, and with no extra money, there will be no extra spending.