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January 22, 2018

Acadia National Park closes due to federal shutdown

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget ordered Acadia National Park on Saturday to start shutdown procedures in the face of the congressional budget impasse.

The Bangor Daily News reported the park could furlough 79 employees over the next three days, going from 94 to 15, due the lack of a federal budget.

"We'll stay as accessible as possible, but if it snows we aren't authorized to plow the Park Loop Road or parking lots. All the restrooms are closed," Acadia spokeswoman Christie Anastasia told the BDN.

People can still use the park, but they will not get emergency help from park staff, nor visitor services, maintenance or other management activities.

The 16-day federal shutdown of Acadia in 2013, which began Oct. 1, caused October retail sales in Bar Harbor to plummet nearly $1 million compared with 2012, according to a BDN report at the time. It caused many visitors to cancel reservations.

The BDN reported at that time that Maine Bureau of Revenue Services figures for October showed retail sales at $24.2 million in October 2013, down from $25.1 million in 2012.

WalletHub: Maine is 15th most affected state

The personal-finance website WalletHub ranks Maine as the 15th state most affected by the shutdown in a report released today comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of six key metrics.

WalletHub's "States Most and Least Affected by the 2018 Government Shutdown" analyzed data ranging from each state's share of federal jobs and contracts to the percentage of children covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program, commonly referred to as CHIP. It's the 19th time the federal government has been shut down due to a budget impasse since 1976, according to the report.

Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the biggest impact from the government shutdown. WalletHub then calculated a weighted average of all the metrics, using this overall score to construct our final ranking.

The top 10 states most affected by the government shutdown: 1) Washington, D.C.; 2) Maryland; 3) Virginia; 4) Alaska; 5) Hawaii; 6) New Mexico; 7) Montana; 8) Oklahoma; 9) California; 10) Alabama.

The 10 states least affected by the government shutdown: 42) North Dakota; 43) North Carolina; 44) Illinois; 45) Iowa; 46) Tennessee; 47) Ohio; 48) Delaware; 49) Indiana; 50) Michigan; 51) Minnesota.

Here's the breakdown of the metrics:

  • Share of federal jobs: Full weight (25 points). Measures federal employment as a share of total employment.
  • Federal contract dollars per capita: Full weight (25 points).
  • Percentage of children under CHIP: Full weight (25 points)
  • Small business lending: Half weight (12.50 points). This metric measures both the average SBA 7a loan size and the percentage of small businesses that get SBA 7a loans.
  • Real Estate as percentage of gross state product: Quarter weight (6.25 points). Gross State Product is the equivalent of GDP but at the state level. Mortgage processing will be affected by staffing shortages in the IRS, FHA and VA.
  • Access to national parks: Quarter weight (6.25 points). This metric measures both the number of national parks per capita and the acres of national parks per capita.

Other key statistics:

  • Red states are less affected by the government shutdown than blue states.
  • California has the highest percentage of children under CHIP, 22.1%. That's 73.7 times higher than in Minnesota, the state with the lowest, at 0.3%.
  • Georgia has the highest average small business loan size, $459,133. That's 5.2 times higher than in Hawaii, the state with the lowest average loan size, at $88,608.
  • Wisconsin has the lowest share of federal jobs, at 1.03%. The average state has 2.6 times more federal jobs, at 2.63%.

WalletHub reported that metrics used to create its ranking were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, usaspending.gov, Fit Small Business, National Association of Realtors, National Park Service and Kaiser Family Foundation.

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