Shutdown Hits Florida Parks, Could Effect More if Continues

Signs at a wildlife refuge are a reminder of the federal government shutdown. As the shutdown drags on, the possibility of food stamp and other aid disruptions loom for Floridians.

Eric Trice of Nichols & Sons Seafood says, “People using food stamps are worried about not getting them anymore. They’re spending their money wisely.”

Eric Trice has seen three food stamps recipients all week. On a normal day he sees up to 15.

“We’ve seen a dramatic change in our retail customers, yes,” said Trice.

The funding for food stamps and the temporary assistance for needy families has money through the end of the month but Governor Rick Scott has ordered Florida agencies not to spend any money on bills owed by the federal government.

Governor Rick Scott says, “We’re working through all of our agencies to look at what impacts it’ll have on the state.”

Children may be the next target. Smaller school districts in Florida rely more on federal dollars than larger districts. Conflicting reports differ on how long they'll receive money under a long shutdown.

Attorney General Pam Bondi says, “We’re looking closely at it. Again, we’re hoping they’re going to do the right thing. This needs to end.”

11 parks across Florida are already closed due to the shutdown like Saint Marks in north Florida.

The Everglades are the most popular park affected.

Regardless, Trice says politicians need to figure the problem in Washington, “They need to get their stuff straight and get all of this straigtened out,” to avoid further issues for people in Florida.