About 500 federal workers live in Delaware and are not being paid as the shutdown continues.

Gov. John Carney and members of the Delaware General Assembly announced legislation  Jan. 22 to help federal workers who live in Delaware and are affected by the ongoing shutdown of the federal government.

House Bill 3, sponsored by Rep. Valerie Longhurst, would provide state-guaranteed, low-interest loans to federal workers to help cover mortgage payments, medical bills, food costs, and other bills facing federal workers who are going without pay during the shutdown. Under the program, M&T Bank, in partnership with the West End Neighborhood House, agreed to provide short-term loans available in all three counties.

“For federal workers, including many of our neighbors here in Delaware, bills don't just stop coming because the federal government is shut down,” said Carney. “These workers still have to take their families to the doctor, get groceries, pay the electric bill, and the mortgage. We ought to do what we can to help these workers and their families.”

“Through no fault of their own, hundreds of Delaware families are facing the prospect of trying to pay their bills without a paycheck coming in, even though many of them are still being forced to show up for work. That's unconscionable,” said Longhurst. “While we can't do anything to end this manufactured shutdown, we can do something on a state level to help federal workers in Delaware get financial support so their everyday obligations do not turn into burdens and force drastic decisions.”

About 500 federal workers live in Delaware and are not being paid as the shutdown continues.

M&T Bank would provide federal employees with short-term loans with no credit check required. West End Neighborhood House and the $tand By Me program would assist federal employees in completing loan applications and provide financial literacy coaching to help their families endure the effects of the shutdown.

The Delaware Department of Labor announced the week prior to the bill’s announcement it had extended unemployment insurance protections to federal employees affected by the shutdown. The Department of Labor began accepting applications for unemployment benefits from federal employees on Jan. 18.