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Jenny Durkan
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Mayor Durkan issues order allowing federal employees to defer utility payments

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

On Day 32 of the government shutdown, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is doing what she can to help unpaid federal workers, issuing an executive order allowing impacted federal employees to defer utility payments.

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That means anyone federal employee working without a paycheck — or who has been furloughed — can defer City of Seattle utility payments until after the shutdown is over.

Four city departments, including Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities, will put together a plan to execute this plan by Friday, Jan. 25. There will be a phone number for anyone impacted to call to determine their eligibility.

Mayor Durkan’s comments on the executive order came through in a press release late Tuesday morning.

Every day that the crisis of the government shutdown continues, public servants in Seattle are forced to live without knowing if they can provide for their families – and Seattle is put at risk by the lack of federal services that we rely on, from earthquake monitoring to the Coast Guard to affordable housing support. We are acting urgently to help support Seattle families being hurt by the Trump shutdown. But to truly help families and help Seattle, we need the White House to re-open the federal government today.

Washington state is home to over 54,000 federal employees, 11,000 of whom work either without pay or on furlough.

Offices in Seattle where federal employees are either working without pay or are furloughed include:

  • NOAA’s Western Regional Center in Sand Point
  • NOAA’s Seattle Forecast Office
  • NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center & Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Montlake
  • NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Sand Point
  • The Federal Detention Center in SeaTac
  • Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington
  • Seattle Immigration Court
  • EPA’s Pacific Northwest Regional Office
  • Federal Trade Commission’s Northwest Regional Office
  • Coast Guard Base Seattle
  • TSA & FAA Employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • HUD’s Seattle Regional Office
  • USGS Earthquake Hazards Seattle Field Office
  • Small Business Administration’s Seattle Office
  • Seattle’s IRS Service Center

Tacoma Public Utilities has also offered to extend payment due dates 60 days, and the utility will waive late fees on bills. Puget Sound Energy will evaluate each case individually, but will generally allow customers in good standing to delay payments.

Additional reporting from KIRO Radio News Staff

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