The Latest: BLM worker warns shutdown has ripple effect | Ap Politics

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the government shutdown in Nevada (all times local):

A psychologist who is working without pay to provide mental health treatment for a federal agency in northern Nevada says “patients are not getting the help they need.”

Dr. Michael Moradshahi said in Reno Friday there’s a very real concern they’ll soon have to start discharging patients.

His wife, Erica Moradshahi, works part-time 27 hours a week for the Washoe County School District but fears she soon may have to look for another job. She says her income is not enough to support their family while her husband is not being paid.

They were among the 24 federal workers and their spouses who discussed their concerns with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in her Reno office on Friday.

A furloughed federal worker for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada says the government shutdown will have a ripple effect on federal land management that lasts far longer than the shutdown itself.

David Pritchett, a BLM planner in Reno, said Friday deadlines are being missed for numerous federal permits for things ranging from gold mines to large recreational events. He says he’s also concerned about eroding the quality of the agency’s work while so many employees are off the job.

Pritchett says he’s lucky because he had saved up some money but many of his colleagues are not as fortunate and cannot tolerate skipping a pay cycle.

He says it’s extremely stressful because they don’t know when they’ll get paid again, and in the meantime, they still have to pay bills.

The wife of one of about 20 active U.S. Coast Guard members who is working at Lake Tahoe without pay says it’s a shame that military families are being faced with evictions, utility shutoffs and taking out high-interest payday loans because of the prolonged government shutdown.

Brianna Bedard said Friday she’s talked to many Coast Guard spouses over the last 21 days and “many of us our scared.”

Bedard was among about 25 federal workers and spouses who met with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in her Reno office to discuss the shutdown.

Bedard told reporters that Coast Guard members frequently relocate so many are one-income families like hers. She says many have applied for loans, only to be denied and have their credit damaged. She says she and her husband may have to pull their child out of school and move in with parents in another state if the shutdown continues.

Las Vegas-based Transportation Security Administration officer Ellen Jackson plans to retire in April but as one of about 800,000 U.S. workers going without pay Friday amid the partial government shutdown, the 59-year-old is driving for a ride-share company to make ends meet.

Jackson and several dozen other federal workers in Nevada met with the state’s Democratic U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto in Las Vegas and Reno on Friday to describe how they’re relying on food stamps, rationing gasoline and trying to get by as the shutdown enters its 21st day.

Both Rosen in Las Vegas and Cortez Masto in Reno called on President Donald Trump to work to re-open the government instead of demanding money for his U.S-Mexico-border wall.

Cortez Masto says federal workers are “being played as pawns and hostages.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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