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Forget Getting a Passport

November 13, 1995
By: ELISA CROUCH
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - If you're planning a trip overseas and haven't gotten your passport yet, you could be in trouble, depending on how long the federal government is shutdown. Although most federal services will be available, the offices that process passport applications will be closed.

"We had a lady who was going to buy a ticket to travel," said April Burger, a postal clerk who works in the passport office in Jefferson City. "She was wondering if she should purchase her ticket today or wait."

The woman Burger was referring to had applied for a passport several weeks ago. Although the offices where you apply for passport will remain open during the federal government shutdown, the offices where the applications are processed will be closed.

Any passport application that is being processed "will probably remain on someone's desk," Burger said.

With the exception of the passport processing offices, most federally-funded services that Missourians use will be available, despite the absence of a federal budget.

Those who use social programs like Food Stamps, Medicare and Medicaid and Aid to Families with Dependent Children still will be able to utilize those programs, said Debra Hendrix, spokesperson for the state's Social Services Department.

"They are all considered critical services, so they won't be effected," Hendrix said.

And, if you have a court date in a federal district court, don't miss it. "We'll be here," said Glenda Curl, deputy clerk in charge at the Federal District Court in Jefferson City. "We don't know if we're going to get a paycheck, but we'll be here."

The employees at Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri won't be taking the day off either, a forest employee said.

As for workers compensation, Tammy Berg, spokesperson for the Labor and Industry Division of Employment Security, wasn't available for comment.