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Help the feds: Anne Arundel libraries waive fees, AACC delays tuition deadline

Anne Arundel County Public Library and Anne Arundel Community College are among local entities offering help for federal employees going without pay because of the federal shutdown.

The federal government has been shut down since Dec. 22 because of an impasse between President Donald Trump and Congress over his call for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Friday was the first day some 800,000 federal workers will go without a paycheck, and the shutdown became the longest in U.S. history.

Here’s a roundup of some of the offers available.

The Anne Arundel County Public Library will waive fines during the federal government shutdown for federal employees, contractors and their families.

The library announced Friday afternoon that the amnesty period would extend from Jan. 4 through the end of the shutdown. Any workers affected by the shutdown who have outstanding fines predating Jan. 4 will not be sent to collections.

There are more than 140,000 federal workers in Maryland, according to the U.S. census. As many as 10,000 live in Anne Arundel County, with many commuting to the Washington area.

Two major military installations, the Naval Academy and Fort George G. Meade, are largely unaffected by the shutdown because defense spending is considered essential.

But a range of federal offices in the county have been closed, and some Department of Homeland Security employees — including Coast Guard personnel in Annapolis and Curtis Bay — and Transportation Security Administration agents at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport are working without pay.

Affected library patrons can contact their local branch to have their fines waived.

Anne Arundel Community College said Thursday it will defer the initial payment of spring credit tuition to Jan. 18 for students impacted by the government shutdown.

For AACC students unable to make spring tuition payments due to a lack of funds as a direct result of the government shutdown, college spokeswoman Angie Hamlet released a statement Thursday suggesting they visit the financial aid office to complete a delayed payment agreement.

The office also working closely with our students who have applied for or are currently receiving financial aid. Contact the financial aid office at 410-777-2203 for assistance.

Anne Arundel County has also compiled a webpage with links and resources for furloughed federal employees. For more information, visit www.aacounty.org/departments/county-executive/federal-government-shutdown-assistance/index.html.

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