BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland is among the states most feeling the effects of the government shutdown.
More than 147,000 federal employees live in Maryland. Many don’t know when they’ll be back to work.
The largest group reports to the Social Security Administration, headquartered in Woodlawn, where the lights are on, and its 11,000 workers can still cash a paycheck.
But that’s not the case in other departments, especially where the money has already run dry.
“Today will be our last day. They said they had enough funds to pay us until today,” said Ottis Johnson, National Gallery of Art.
Johnson commutes from Owings Mills to his job at the National Gallery of Art.
As of closing time Wednesday, he and his co-workers do not know when they will see their desks again.
“A lot of our employees work from paycheck to paycheck, and it’s definitely hard on those,” Johnson said. “it doesn’t just hurt government workers, it affects small businesses around here as well.”
In tourist areas, where the usually steady flow of foot traffic moves around fluidly, is now a trickle. Signs direct visitors away from the Smithsonian Institutions, and in turn from surrounding vendors.
Some are asking for state help. As of late December, 169 federal employees living in Maryland have filed for unemployment insurance benefits.
That number is expected to grow if the shutdown continues past Day 12.
Gov. Larry Hogan declined to discuss its impact on camera Wednesday, but said this in a statement to WJZ
“It’s unacceptable to punish hardworking federal employees because Washington can’t get its act together,” Hogan said.
When the shutdown ends, the next question will be if Congress approves back-pay for workers in Maryland and elsewhere.