Bride-to-be getting marriage license early for fear of state shutdown

Ripple effects of a government shutdown

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A partial shutdown of state government would at the very least mean thousands of state workers would stop seeing a paycheck. Only essential services would continue.   Governor Paul LePage has indicated that state police would continue to provide public safety and he said on WVOM Tuesday morning that he would keep state parks open through the long holiday weekend.

But there's a lot of other big "what if's" out there right now about what services might be affected and that is making a number of people uneasy.
 
Skye Botting's big wedding day is a little more than two months away so she's busy trying on her wedding dress. That's a priority for her, but one thing that she has yet to give any thought to is a marriage license.
 
"We always worry about the wedding dress things like that.  We don't worry about the actual marriage part," she said jokingly.
 
She might want to worry about the license.  If there is a state government shutdown, Bangor City Clerk Lisa Goodwin says that her staff may not be able to issue marriage licenses.
 
"If anyone's getting married within the next 90 days they might want to think about applying for their license now just in case. It's better to be safe than sorry," she said.
 
According to Goodwin, her staff needs to access a state database of vital records to issue marriage licenses. If that database stops working and there's no IT staff at the state to fix it, they won't be able to issue licenses.
 
"If you're coming to apply for a marriage (license)  if the system is down we can't help you you will not get a license," she said.
 
She also explained that  without state workers they wouldn't be able to issue any new birth certificates or death certificates.
 
People would also not be able to get any new drivers licenses or state id cards if the Bureau of Motor Vehicles closes down. Bill Rand got his license renewed Monday and is glad he did.
 
"I need it for my job yes, I test drive vehicles," he said.
 
We asked the state whether loggers could harvest timber on state lands and have yet to receive an answer. According to the Bureau of Parks and Lands, there are six active timber harvests right now on state lands in the Eastern Maine Region. 
 
With so much uncertainty, Skye Botting, isn't planning on taking any chances, she's getting her marriage license before Friday.
 
"You think you have all this time and it's easy you just go in and get it so it's not something we prioritized so knowing about that I'm probably gonna go tonight because now I'm nervous about it," she said.
 
The governor has asked state agencies to draft contingency plans, but has yet to share much details about what those plans might entail and what services could stay open. He did hint on WVOM that he would give preference to jobs that generate revenue and said he would keep state parks open to protect against vandalism.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment