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Federal Sequester In Connecticut: Middle Class Jobs at Stake

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

 

Connecticut could lose 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.

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."

Other possible impacts of the sequestriation in this state 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.
Jon February 26, 2013 at 03:24 PM
CUT THEM ALL. Stop spending beyond our means
BL Davis February 26, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Escept for the loss of 3000 defense related jobs, the rest of the losses do not look that big. Maybe teachers and school administrators, who can now transform almost a year's worth of sick days (about 180) into a "retirement bonus," could give back some of that excess which far outstrips any carry over in the private sector. State and local governments provide both salaries and benefits to their employees that far exceed those of the taxpayers who have to pay for them. It's time to rebalance .
Matt February 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
If you were one of the hard working thousands of people who's livelihood is in jeopardy because of this, your moronic comment would be a little different. These cuts have absolutely nothing to do with spending beyond our means. It was designed to be so devastating, that they would never let it happen in favor of more logical changes. But since our elected officials are all self-serving worthless idiots, they're going to let it happen. And news flash, defense spending is only one small part of the cuts and job losses. People in all branches of the government, both employees and contractors, are at risk for furloughs and being laid off. People who's private, local, or state jobs depend on federal funding are also at risk. If you were one of them, you would sing a different tune.
BL Davis February 26, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Matt: Have you been living in a bubble here in Mdison and never really examined threats of budget cuts? First of all, there are no cuts to the current level of spending. There are only reductions to requested future spending. Companies, Agencies, schools, etc, always respond by promulgating the worst possible outcome. Schools usually blast notice that the entire football program has to be cut, or the band. No school would ever respond that geometry will be cut, because half the parents wouldn't notice. It is the same for the Pentagon. The Pentagon's response is that every defense contractor will have to shut down immediately, furloughing workers throughout the country. But eliminate from production a group of planes that are already obsolete? Never -- especially if they are built in the district of a Senator on the Armed Services Committee. Further, the entire cut over all discretionary spending is $85 Billion dollars, which will go into effect over a 9 month period of time. It amounts to about a 2% reduction in FUTURE spending. Since our Senators and Representatives only worked aboout 125 days in Washington last year, I'd start by cutting their salaries and benefits in half. We don't pay them to be fund raisers for their personal re-election, We pay them to make smart decisions. However, if they continue to hear mostly from people who don't understand what is going on,........... they'll continue to make the same dumb decisions.
Matt February 26, 2013 at 06:18 PM
No I do not live in a bubble. But what I do live in is this dysfunctional political world that has MY job and MY livelihood in jeopardy. That is real. That is not an exaggeration or promulgating the worst possible outcome. If this happens, the BEST case scenario is we get an unspecified number of furlough days from march through September. We're estimating anywhere from 14 to 20 days. Yes, the best case scenario is nearly a month's pay cut from my income. The worst case scenario is that me and all my coworkers and friends at my job are completely laid off. And that is not some exaggerated possibility. That's a very real possibility. So I'm sorry you think this is no big deal, but you're wrong. Maybe you wouldn't mind discontinuing your income? if so, I'll give you my address and you could mail me a check.
BL Davis February 26, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Matt: Let us know when you actually get furloughed without pay, and then I will feel some sympathy for you. The Republicans in Congress are trying very hard to permanently reduce my income by implementing a new way of calculating the Social Security Benefit to reduce my future income. Yes, I am a senior citizen and I paid into the Social Security system for almost 60 years. It wouldn't be necessary to cut Social Security or Medicare if the cap were lifted on wages and salaries subject to Social Security taxes. Are you aware that people with wages or earned income over $113,700 pay no Social Security taxes on that higher income? That’s right, the Wall Street Banker or lawyer or businessman with a $300,000 income and the millionaire with an income of one or even several million dollars pay Social Security taxes only on the first $113,700 of their income. Shockingly, the Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers pay absolutely nothing into either Social Security or Medicare! All income, even that of the wealthy and super wealthy should be subject to Social Security taxation, not just all the income of the poor and the middle classes.
BL Davis February 26, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Hey, Matt: If you really do work in the defense industry, how come you have so much spare time on a work day to spend writing comments on PATCH?
Matt February 26, 2013 at 06:46 PM
I will let you know. You're nuts if you think my employer's budget being immediately cut by over $700,000,000 (yes that is 700 million) is not going to effect the employees. The bosses are not exaggerating, and they are just a vulnerable as us working grunts. And I'm sorry your SS income is on someone's radar for cuts. Would you be happy if I came on here and told you it was no big deal and that your fears are unjustified? Probably not. So I'm not sure where you get off telling me that I shouldn't be worried, when in the same comment, you complain about cuts to your income. At least if yours is reduced, it will still be there.
Matt February 26, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I don't work in the defense industry. In fact I told you the defense industry is not the only industry seeing cuts from this. Is reducing yourself to personal attacks such as this all you have left? I explained in detail why I'm concerned and what the effects could be. And the only thing you can come up with is to accuse me of being lazy for commenting on it. You don't see me questioning your work ethic for those 60 years you paid into SS. I don't know anything about you or your work. You don't know anything about me or mine. So why don't you go ahead and drop that one.
Fred February 26, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Sequester or no sequester, the USA Will spend more next year than it does this year, more two years from now than it will next year. The cuts amount to a piddling 2.4% of the total federal budget. Matt says that these sequester "was designed to be so devastating, that they would never let it happen;" I say that it doesn't cut nearly enough. BL Davis is correct that some are spreading alarm that these cuts will be devastating -- this is a ruse to distract us from the crisis, and continue spending as usual. We are on an unsustainable course, nearly $17 trillion in debt, and swiftly approaching insolvency. Cuts are painful, but they must be made.
Matt February 26, 2013 at 07:29 PM
I completely agree that spending is out of control. But arbitrarily chopping random things that are necessary is not helping the situation. The biggest wastes of money are not the things they're cutting because their political interests would be in jeopardy.
Fred February 26, 2013 at 07:48 PM
"Don't cut you, don't cut me, cut that fellow behind the tree."
BL Davis February 26, 2013 at 08:29 PM
If it is true that $700,000,000 is being cut from the industry industry in which Matt works, that would mean the government (we taxpayers) is providing that industry with somewhere between 29 Billion and 35 Billion dollars. It is rather hard to believe there would be no legitimate cuts possible in a $35 billion handout. For example, workers who spend a lot of time on non work related e-mails could be cut.
Matt February 26, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Once again you do not know anything about where I work, who I work for, or what shifts I work when. Nor is that even a topic of discussion, or any of your business. I don't question what you did or didn't do for 60 years that makes it ok for you to complain about your income possibly being reduced. But for some reason, you have no problem hypocritically suggesting I am expendable and shouldn't worry about having my income reduced or cut.
BL Davis February 26, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Matt: You have yet to justify that your work and your industry are so essential that tiny reductions in future expenditures are impossible. Let me know when you are furloughed without pay, and I will shed a tear. I trust you have sufficient savings to survive a few weeks without pay -- which will no doubt be made up in the next government contract..
Matt February 26, 2013 at 09:36 PM
So in other words, you have nothing useful to add to the discussion other than personal attacks. Ok. Thanks.
Fred February 26, 2013 at 09:47 PM
It's nothing personal. The facts are that (1) cuts must be made, or the country will become insolvent, and (2) the cuts will cause hardship and pain for all, and no one should be exempt -- not even you or me, and (3) the hysterical predictions of mass layoffs, etc., are unwarranted, in light of the fact that overall spending will continue to increase, and anticipated spending will be reduced by only 2.4%.
Matt February 26, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Like I said before, I completely agree the budget is a mess and spending is out of control. And obviously it shouldn't be personal. BL seems to think it should be, and has reduced herself to personal attacks since she apparently can't come up with legitimate civil discussion content.
Janet February 27, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Our President is incapable of leadership... He is still busy spreading the word that being successful in America is something that should be penalized. You can't eliminate deductions on some people and not others based on what they make... If a deduction is permissible it should be for all. Instead, place a ceiling limit on that deduction. A good leader can align people in reasonable compromise in such a way that others want to follow.

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