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San Francisco lays plans to help federal workers in future shutdowns

As President Donald Trump agreed to reopen the government on Friday for the next three weeks after hundreds of thousands of federal workers received no paychecks for weeks, San Francisco is planning for future government shutdowns.

Mayor London Breed along with Treasurer José Cisneros and Supervisor Matt Haney announced a plan Friday to help furloughed federal workers or federal workers receiving no paychecks during a federal government shutdown. Workers must live in The City or work at San Francisco International to participate in the program.

Under the plan, which will need approval from the Board of Supervisors, The City will secure a $20 million line of credit for the Cisneros who will then distribute the zero-interest loans of up to $6,000 per employee.

The Mayor’s Office estimates about 2,000 federal employees live in The City and 1,300 employees at SFO would qualify for the program.

Breed said in a statement:

“When federal workers are forced to go without pay due to a federal shutdown, we can and will step in to help these workers take care of themselves and their families. Even with this short-term deal to reopen the government, we will still move forward with this plan so that if the government closes again we will be prepared to help our workers.”

Supervisor Matt Haney, who will co-sponsor the proposed legislation with Breed, had made it clear he wanted to help federal workers last week. Haney said in a statement:

“This is a significant and immediate solution to support impacted workers who are worried about how they can pay the bills. Even if the shutdown ends, we must continue to be prepared.”

Cisneros is arranging for Balance, a nonprofit financial counseling service, to offer free one-on-one credit counseling for any city workers affected by the federal government shutdown.

They can reach Balance at 1-866-520-0921.

Cisneros said in a statement:

“I am committed to helping federal workers avoid turning to predatory payday loans. On behalf of all San Franciscans, I am proud to stand with the Mayor to offer a zero-interest loan to thousands of people working without pay.”

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