Update, 2/28/13: Watertown reporter Joanna Richards reported on this question for today’s NCPR news, with a particular focus on Fort Drum. Find that story here.
Federal sequestration is seeming more and more likely as we approach the March 1 deadline. The possibility has been floating around for some time, but until quite recently it didn’t seem possible that our federal government would allow things to get to this point (for those who haven’t fully acquainted themselves with the idea of sequestration, perhaps thinking it might go away, here’s a handy explainer from CNN.)
Sequestration would trigger automatic spending cuts to government agencies that would total $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split in half, between defense and domestic discretionary spending.
This is a huge number, divided up among programs that are frankly too huge to get one’s mind around. However, new information from the White House might prove useful in that regard. The President’s office has come up with a plan it says will avoid the sequester (numbers in previous link; more explanation from the Washington Post here.) Because this is politics, some of the language in the White House document I’m about to quote here is a little political (what can you do?)
I’m quoting this from the document (this is the full New York section — there’s more in the document about national impacts and what should be done.) Here’s how the White House says sequestration will affect us here in New York:
Teachers and Schools: New York will lose approximately $42.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 590 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 70,000 fewer students would be served and approximately120 fewer schools would receive funding.Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, New York will lose approximately $36.3 million in funds for about 440 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 4,520 fewer low income students in New York would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 4,150 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 4,300 children in New York, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: New York would lose about $12,869,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, New York could lose another $1,201,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Military Readiness: In New York, approximately 12,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $60.9 million in total.
Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $108 million in New York.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: New York will lose about $780,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
Job Search Assistance to Help those in New York find Employment and Training: New York will lose about $884,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 46,230 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 2,300 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Vaccines for Children: In New York around 7,170 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $490,000.
Public Health: New York will lose approximately $1,070,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, New York will lose about $5,730,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 6,100 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And New York’s health departments will lose about $2,726,000 resulting in around 68,200 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: New York could lose up to $412,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 1,600 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: New York would lose approximately $1,447,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
So what do you think? How will this affect you?