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Jobs, Services Could Be Impacted by Federal Sequester Cuts on Both State, Local Level

In a breakdown released Sunday by the Obama White House, officials say the automatic cuts that would take effect Friday could have broad implications for the region, the state and the country.

Connecticut could lose "thousands of middle class jobs" and "vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform" under the automatic federal budget cuts known as the sequester that are looming this week, the White House said Sunday in a summary of the budget reductions.

East Granby First Selectman Jim Hayden wasn't all that worried about town services, but he was concerned about reports that hundreds of National Guard personnel could be furloughed.

"From a town perspective, there won’t be any direct impact," he said. "But certainly, one of the news stories that I heard today was that the governor said it could affect the National Guard."

Malloy said on CNN Sunday that the cuts would result in the furlough of 576 National Guard personnel in Connecticut.

 The Air National Guard is the largest employer in East Granby, Hayden said, though it was not clear whether the personnel based at the Bradley Air National Guard Base at Bradley Airport would be affected.

"The direct impact [of the sequestration cuts] I’m aware of is not there," Hayden said. "The indirect impact would be very significant to the state of Connecticut."

Granby Town Manager William F. Smith Jr. could not be reached for comment on the issue.

The budget cuts would see the state lose $8.7 million in education funding along with another $6.3 million in federal funds to help students with disabilities.

The cuts, the White House document says, would put "around 120 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 8,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 40 fewer schools would receive funding."

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy released a statement Monday on the cuts:

"The so-called sequester is another sad example of governing at its worst —Congress has to stop taking people’s jobs and our entire economy hostage to its own dysfunction. Friday’s deadline will bring devastating cuts to critical services and job losses in Connecticut and across the country. I strongly opposed the legislation that set this process in motion, and strongly support legislation to prevent the damage that these reckless cuts will do to our still fragile economy. It’s time for Congress to get over itself and work to make this right."

Other possible impacts of the sequestriation in Connecticut include:

  • Work-Study Jobs: Around 550 fewer low income students in Connecticut would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 470 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 500 children in Connecticut, reducing access to critical early education.
  • Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Connecticut would lose about $2 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Connecticut could lose another $398,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
  • Military Readiness: In Connecticut, approximately 3,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $15 million in total.
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Connecticut will lose about $153,000 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 Connecticut find Employment and Training: Connecticut will lose about $242,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 10,650 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
  • Child Care: Up to 200 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Paul Bahre February 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM
What a load of malarkey !!! The sequester would only require the president to make what like 2.1 percent cuts across the board and he can direct where and what gets cut so it's not really supposed to be across the board unless the executive branch is lazy, which it is. The cuts will bring spending down to the same levels of spending that was present when Obama first took office and as I can remember Bush was spending quite a bit at that time and now Obama is spending even more. So go ahead and let the papers make you idiots out there believe the sky is falling, it's not and these cuts are needed. (And more of them beyond this.) Remember the president got his tax hikes well this is the other side of the equation.
Fred February 26, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Obama is giving over 83 billion a year to big banks alone, what a farce to spew doom and gloom when even afetr the cuts there is still more being spent than last year.
Happy Percy February 26, 2013 at 01:57 PM
From overpaying positions such as the Granby Community Developer that makes over $150,000 plus benefits, to the Granby Chairman of the Board of Finance that drives a car registered in South Carolina, possibly not to pay the CT taxes. Yes time for Government to shrink!! The waste has been going on far too long! CT didn't have an income tax, or a lottery, or the Native American revenue just 20 years ago, and because Government feels they have a blank check and can raise taxes, put in road tolls that the supply of money is endless, it's not and Government needs to be Reduced drastically!

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