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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Furloughed Oregon Workers Feel Shutdown Pinch Despite Current Deal

Even if the federal government re-opens immediately, some people in the Northwest fear they’re still going to feel the effects of the partial shutdown.

More than 200 civilian employees of the Oregon National Guard have been off the job due to the impasse. The positions are federally funded but the workers get state benefits.

The union representing those workers says if they aren’t back on the job by Friday, they won't accrue enough hours this month to qualify for health coverage next month.

"I have ongoing medical conditions," says Ken Hill, a Salem-based mapmaker for the Oregon National Guard. "If I lose my insurance for the month of November, I'm going to have enough medication to last two days into December, and that's it."

Even under the current agreement, it's not clear how soon the furloughed workers could return to the job. The Oregon Military Department says it's not clear at this point whether the laid-off workers will receive any back pay when they do return.

On the Web:

Oregon Military Department