Dunleavy prepares state for potential government shutdown

Alaska is preparing for a possible federal government shutdown on Oct. 1. 

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Tuesday that the state’s executive branch is evaluating federal programs administered by the state and reviewing potential impacts for Alaskans. 

The governor said he is committed to continuing essential services funded by the federal government and administered by the state where it has authority to do so. The state would seek reimbursement following a shutdown. While the federal government is not required by law to reimburse states for expenses during a government shutdown, reimbursement has occurred after every previous shutdown.  

The longest previous federal government shutdown was 34 days. If a shutdown continued beyond that timeframe the state will reevaluate the situation as needed, and prioritize programs most directly impacting the life, health and safety of Alaskans. 

The state administers many programs on behalf of the federal government, including Medicaid and federal air traffic control. These programs are mandatory by law, authorized outside of the annual appropriations process, and have existing carry-forward funds, or are classified by the federal government as “excepted” due to life, health and safety implications would continue to operate during a shutdown.  

Some 4,700 state executive branch jobs are at least partially federally funded. Those individuals would see no disruption in their pay and continue to report to work.  


A smaller number of federal workers are employed within state government. Their status would be determined by the guidance from whichever federal agency they are employed by. 

Meanwhile the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development has developed a fact sheet specifically to address unemployment insurance questions associated with a potential government furlough for federal employees.