Voters in 11 counties will decide Nov. 5 if they want county commissioners to continue pursuing the possibility of creating a 51st state. In advance of that vote, supporters of the new state movement continue to pursue the discussion.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress this week that the partial federal government shutdown has forced the furlough of some 70 percent of employees throughout the intelligence community.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Clapper, a 50-year veteran of intelligence work.
So what impact is all this having on the spy world?
In Colorado, voters will consider a huge tax hike on newly legal marijuana. New Yorkers could expand gambling. And Washington voters are in the midst of a multimillion-dollar campaign over the labeling of genetically modified foods.
The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.
President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.
"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.
Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.