Most of the 1,100 civilian employees furloughed last week by the Navy and National Guard in Rhode Island returned to work Monday, but many other federal employees remained home as the government shutdown began its second week.
Nearly all of the 800 workers furloughed at Naval Station Newport and 300 in the National Guard came back to work Monday after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel over the weekend recalled most of the 350,000 civilian employees furloughed nationwide. Still, Maj. Gen. Kevin McBride, adjutant general of the Rhode Island National Guard, said financial constraints meant it still would not be "business as usual."
At the Navy base, the museum at the Naval War College remains closed, but instructors at the college were back at work.
Elsewhere, federal offices and services were feeling the pinch of the shutdown. The state's national wildlife refuges and Roger Williams National Memorial remained closed.
Federal courts have money to operate until next week, although court officials were preparing for what to do if the shutdown extends beyond then, said David DiMarzio, clerk of court for the U.S. District Court in Providence. The court has already been coping for months with reduced staffing due to the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.
"How much further we can reduce staff and still maintain the functions of this court is not clear at this point," he said.
U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said about 15 of his office's roughly 40 employees are furloughed on any given day. They've asked for delays on all civil cases. Criminal matters that pose a threat to public safety are being prioritized, while longer-term criminal investigations that have not yet resulted in charges are likely to be delayed, he said.
Neronha said cases before the court only constitute about half of what his office does in a given day. The office also works closely on investigations with the FBI, ATF and other law enforcement agencies for things such as warrants and electronic surveillance.
"If the FBI needs to get a search warrant, they can only do that through us," he said. "The FBI can't function without assistant U.S. attorneys helping, supporting them in what they're doing."
No FBI agents in the state are furloughed, according to an FBI spokesman in Boston.
"There's no question that this has been a drain on the office," Neronha said. "They're not getting paychecks but they're working just as hard as when they were."
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