Monday, February 25, 2013

Sequestration in Georgia: Defense, education, and public health would get walloped

Posted By on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:28 AM

President Obama failed to specify whether the cuts would impact his arsenal of transparent teleprompters
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • President Obama failed to specify whether the cuts would impact his arsenal of transparent teleprompters

Remember when Congress brokered that last minute "fiscal cliff" comprise a couple of months ago? Rather than deal with the spending and revenue issues, they kicked the can down the road and delayed $85 billion in budget cuts until March 1. It's called "sequestration."

But the time for sequestration is nigh, unless lawmakers take action. To force the matter, the White House released a state-by-state breakdown detailing where possible cuts would occur if no action is taken by Friday.

The Office of Management and Budget projects that sequestration would prompt an 8 percent cut in defense programs and a 5 percent reduction in nondefense programs across the country. When broken down to the state level, Georgia would lose $28.6 million in education funding, $3.5 million in clean water and air quality funding, and force 37,000 civilian Department of Defense employees' furloughs.

"We cannot simply cut our way to prosperity, and if Republicans continue to insist on an unreasonable, cuts-only approach, Georgia risks paying the price," the document says.

See the full list of automatic cuts that could happen in Georgia - which also hit areas including law enforcement, public health, domestic violence, and child care - after the jump.

- Teachers and Schools: Georgia will lose approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding.
- Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Work-Study Jobs: Around 2,490 fewer low income students in Georgia would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 890 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 1,700 children in Georgia, reducing access to critical early education.
- Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Georgia would lose about $3.5 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Georgia could lose another $979,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
- Military Readiness: In Georgia, approximately 37,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $190.1 million in total.
- Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $233 million in Georgia.
- Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Georgia would be cut by about $5 million.
- Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Georgia will lose about $427,000 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 Georgia find Employment and Training: Georgia will lose about $873,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 33,160 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
- Child Care: Up to 1,100 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 Georgia around 4,180 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 $286,000.
- Public Health: Georgia will lose approximately $925,000 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, Georgia will lose about $2.5 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 2400 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And Georgia health departments will lose about $571,000 resulting in around 14,300 fewer HIV tests.
- STOP Violence Against Women Program: Georgia could lose up to $208,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 800 fewer victims being served.
- Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Georgia would lose approximately $1.3 million in funds that
provide meals for seniors.

On the other hand, U.S. Rep. (and likely Senatorial candidate) Tom Price, R-Roswell, told Georgia Public Broadcasting last week that he thinks the sequestration will occur. "You're telling me we can't cut 2.4 percent out of the federal budget?" says Price. "It absolutely can be done, must be done, in order to get us on a path so we can get this economy rolling again."

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