Washington offers shutdown benefits to FBI, Coast Guard

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state will offer unemployment benefits to federal employees like Coast Guardsmen, FBI agents and Border Patrol workers who are required to be on the job without pay during the partial federal government shutdown.

Gov. Jay Inslee made the announcement Thursday, saying Washington would join states like California, Colorado, New Mexico and Vermont in offering such relief to federal employees. Inslee, a likely Democratic presidential candidate, said about 8,000 people deemed essential federal workers in Washington would be affected.

The partial government shutdown – a fight over President Donald Trump’s demand to build a wall along the Mexican border – has been going on for more than a month.

Authorities say the workers would be required to pay back state benefits once they receive back pay when the shutdown ends.