As the three-week-old partial federal government shutdown continued Saturday (Jan. 12), making it the longest one in United States history, businesses are stepping in to ease a little of the pain for federal employees going without paychecks.
Angel Fire Ski Resort announced beginning Monday (Jan. 14) it will offer free lift tickets during the week for furloughed federal employees for as long as the shutdown lasts. The tickets will be available at the ticket window only Mondays thru Fridays to employees who show a copy of their furlough notice letter and a federal ID, according to a press release from the resort.
For federal employees looking for ways to hone their skills during the shutdown, they can take a free online geographic information systems class beginning Jan. 16 through New Mexico Highlands University. It is an eight-week, two-credit class. Click here for information and to register.
Those receiving their first paycheck of $0 this week or still working without pay may be able to delay some loan payments in order to preserve their credit. Call your financial institution to see what they are willing to do to help until the shutdown ends.
Some utility companies also are trying to help furloughed federal employees and those working without pay. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is extending the due date on electric bills and will not disconnect service for those federal employees who are affected, according to CEO Luis Reyes. Those who heat their homes with natural gas can call New Mexico Gas Company at 1-888-664-2726 to make payment arrangements for their homes and to ask about additional assistance during the shutdown, according to a statement from the company.
Federal employees need to be prepared to show a furlough letter or notice that they must work without pay and a federal ID.
Among the federal workers impacted in Taos County are those with the Carson National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management and the Río Grande National Historical Monument.
Among the federal programs affected that may begin to hit consumers are those receiving federal food stamp assistance, those applying for federal home loans, private contractors with Los Alamos National Laboratory and other projects.
The impasse between President Donald Trump and Congress over a federal budget continues with no end in sight.
If you know of other programs set up to help furloughed federal employees and those working without pay, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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