The government shutdown is in its third day and KELOLAND News has been getting questions into our newsroom about South Dakota's Congressional delegation and if they are accepting a paycheck during the shutdown, and if their offices open.
Representative Kristi Noem
The door is locked at the office in Sioux Falls and at every other office across the state. Noem’s representatives say the Watertown and Washington D.C. offices are the only two that are open and still operational during the shutdown. The staff who are still left are still getting paid according to federal law.
Noem's spokeswoman says 60 percent of the staff has been furloughed without pay as part of the shutdown, adding Noem will not accept her paycheck if furloughed government workers fail to receive back pay after the shutdown is over.
Senator Tim Johnson
The lights are on and you can see people inside working at Senator Tim Johnson’s Sioux Falls office. A spokesman for Johnson says all of their field offices in South Dakota and Washington D.C. are open but the staff are not getting paid during this government shutdown. He says they are open because they feel it's their duty to be open and respond to questions from constituents.
Constituents like Ernest Gayetaye who stopped by Johnson's Sioux Falls office Thursday with his family to iron out an immigration issue.
"We are very happy to come to the Congress office to see the door open but also we feel bad that they are not getting paid," Gayetaye said.
Senator Johnson is forgoing pay during the shutdown and putting his check in an escrow account.
Senator John Thune
Senator John Thune’s offices across the state are open and a spokeswoman says staff members have been instructed to work Thursday and Friday.
Officials in Thune's office say they are taking staffing day by day because the staff who are still working still have to be paid according to federal law.
Thune says he will not take a paycheck if unpaid furloughed workers aren't reimbursed after the shutdown is over.