Debt ceiling affects Albany services

The Liberty House, a shelter for battered women and children, would have to close their doors if the cebt ceiling is not raised / Ashley Knight

The debt ceiling is making national news these days.

But what would happen to local services if the government defaults?

Lawmakers are still trying to find a compromise that will keep the U.S. from defaulting on its debts. If they agree to raise the debt ceiling, military personnel will continue to get paid, as will small business owners contracting with federal employees and those receiving social security.

"The problem is if the debt ceiling is not raised, our credit quality will decline and that lead interest rates to go up. Getting access to credit would be worse, would be harder so that means it will be more expensive for us as consumers to shop, it's gonna be more expensive for businesses to invest to create jobs," says Economics Professor, Aaron Johnson.

But aside from jobs, one of the services that will be most hard-hit will be the Liberty House--a shelter for battered women and children.

"If the government doesn't have the money to give to states, states then don't have any money to give us because we are state and federally funded, we cannot survive on community donations and united way dollars," says Director Silke Deely.

Liberty House receives $400,000 in state and federal funding. Their contributions from United Way were just cut in half to a mere $3,000. They have 11 full time employees.

"And if we don't get that money come the end of august or before that, we're gonna have to close our doors. How do we stay open on 40% of our budget?" says Deely.

For Silke Deely, more will be affected than just her employees. She's worried about the women and children they protect from the 17 counties they serve.

"It's pretty scary. Hopefully somebody, the powers that be that have any control over this are listening!"

Lawmakers have until August 2 to make a decision.

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