Amid shutdown, Treasury still set to release new $100 bill Tuesday

BY newsdesk  October 7, 2013 at 3:07 PM EDT

The newly-redesigned $100 notes. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

On Tuesday, the redesigned $100 notes featuring Benjamin Franklin and sporting new anti-counterfeit features will begin circulation.

If you, like us, thought this a somewhat strange occurence during a government shutdown with hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough — including about 88 percent of Treasury employees — and unsure whether they’ll be getting a paycheck or not, here’s the explanation. Though not considered “essential,” necessarily, a contigency plan notes that some of the department’s offices and bureaus “are funded from sources other than annual Congressional appropriations, and would operate normally if a government shutdown were to occur.” Those include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the United States Mint, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

The seemingly bad timing is the result of delays — one caused by an issue with sporadic paper-creasing — pushing back the circulation date for the new Benjamins by more than two years.

For more on the anti-counterfeiting technologies embedded in the new bank notes, watch this AP video:

H/T Elizabeth Shell