Federal workers affected by the government shutdown could get more time to pay their property taxes under a bill introduced this week by New Jersey lawmakers, similar to the grace periods allowed after natural disasters.

More than 20,000 federal employees work in New Jersey, and about a quarter of them aren’t getting paychecks during the partial federal government shutdown.

“These are working people who are having an increasingly difficult time paying their bills, and they don’t know when this shutdown will end,” Senate President Stephen Sweeney said in a statement. “It puts a severe strain on family finances and causes real anxiety for those who are living paycheck to paycheck."

Sweeney, of Gloucester County, and Sen. Joe Cryan of Union County, both Democrats, introduced legislation Tuesday recommending that taxing authorities give federal workers more time to pay their school, town, and county property taxes. If the authorities agree, eligible residents would be to able include this quarter’s taxes in next quarter’s payment without accruing interest penalties.

New Jersey’s real-estate taxes are the nation’s highest.

Federal workers also would be able to take out zero-interest loans against their pensions to pay expenses, according to another bill Sweeney and Cryan introduced Tuesday. Majority Whip Raj Mukherji (D., Hudson) has companion bills in the Assembly.

“This is by no means a complete fix," Cryan said, “but it will help to ameliorate the financial pain resulting from the forced shutdown that has been imposed on hard-working employees and their families.”