Uncertainty ends for furloughed federal workers as gov't reopens - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Uncertainty ends for furloughed federal workers as gov't reopens

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Uniforms have been pressed and briefcases packed as thousands across the state marked the end of 16 days of uncertainty and hardship. But the impact of the government shutdown and the financial toll it taken is only now starting to lift for families across the state.

Lisa Lewandowski told her kids it was like a vacation, but that didn't stop the demands or relieve the pressure.

"To hear your children every day tell you, 'I want this for Christmas,' 'I want to be this for Halloween,' you have to constantly tell them if it's not a need, we can't worry about that right now," said Lisa.

For federal officer Dan Lewandowski and his family, an early morning phone call marked the end of a tense pretend "vacation" that had strained the young family emotionally and financially.

"He opened the door around 7 a.m. this morning and said, 'Can you get my uniform ready? I have to go to work today," said Lisa.

And the call came just as money was running out.

"I managed to cover what bills I had, and from there, I had $60 to my name for groceries," said Dan.

"We had October's rent paid, but we didn't know how long this was going to last, so we weren't sure how we were going to pay November's rent," said Lisa.

State Rep. Robert Brown was able to connect Dan's family with emergency state aid services. But he says the consequences of the impact will have a broad economic impact in the state.

"We don't get any taxes from them not working, and also they're using state resources, while they're not working, to make ends meet," said Brown.

Dan's not sure when his next paycheck is coming, but he hopes his finances recover sooner than his faith in the government.

"Backpay, I can't answer that one, but according to what's going to happen, I'll get at least two days pay," said Dan.

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