On March 1, 2013, automatic Federal budget cuts are scheduled to take effect unless Congress can reach some kind of agreement before then. These will be across-the-board spending cuts of $85 billion for the Federal government’s fiscal year (March to September). Whether you believe the cuts will, in the long term, benefit the country as a whole or you think the cuts represent an impending disaster one thing is certain – at least in the short term many will feel pain from the cuts. Although not certain yet, here is some of what we may suffer in Oregon:
• Nationwide, the Federal Aviation Administration may shut down air traffic control towers at 100 airports on the list are: Multnomah Country (Portland-Troutdale), Klamath Falls, North Bend, Pendleton and Salem.
• Cuts of approximately $10.2 million in primary and secondary education are scheduled to take effect. This could result in the loss of 140 jobs for teachers and teacher aides. Additionally, Early Head Start services for approximately 600 children may no longer be available.
• The civilian Department of Defense may furlough 3,000 employees in the state to save about $16.5 million in gross pay.
• About $155,000 in Justice Assistance Grants may be lost. Such grants support law enforcement in general, crime prevention programs, drug treatment and victim and witness assistance.
• Our children may also be directly affected. Vaccinations for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B will be available for approximately 1,670 less children than would be available absent the cuts.
• The critical health areas of substance abuse and HIV testing will also be affected. It is currently estimated that substance abuse programs will have to reduce admissions by approximately 3,800 and funds will be lost that would support approximately 2,800 HIV tests.
• More of our seniors will go hungry as almost $700,000 in funds used to provide meals for seniors may be cut.
• The unemployed may be dealt another blow as unemployment benefits are expected to be cut by approximately 10%.
For more information on the cuts and a bit of political commentary on the subject you can find the article from which the above was abstracted at OregonLive.