How spending cuts could affect North Carolina

Posted on: 7:59 am, February 25, 2013, by , updated on: 08:00am, February 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The countdown to March 1st is on. That is the deadline for President Obama and Congress to come to an agreement about federal spending cuts in order to address the nation’s deficit.

It’s all in response to the Budget Control Act of 2011, designed to force a solution in Congress by implementing certain automatic spending cuts that would go into effect in 2013.

On New Year’s Day, in effort to avoid the fiscal cliff, Congress passed a bill which prevented certain tax increases for many Americans.

The bill, however, did not address the nation’s deficit. It extended Sequestration (automatic federal spending cuts) for two months.

That two months is nearly up, and The White House has released a report of how Sequestration will affect each state individually.

The estimates for North Carolina include:

EDUCATION:

— About $25.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 350 teacher and aide jobs at risk.
— About $16.8 million in money for 200 teachers, aides and staff that help teach children with disabilities
— Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for about 1,500 children.

ENVIRONMENT:

— About $3.6 million in environmental funding
— About $1.3 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT:

— About 22,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $117.5 million in total.
— About $136 million for Army base operations in North Carolina.
— About $5 million for Air Force operations in North Carolina.
— Aircraft depot maintenance would be canceled in Cherry Point.
— $401,000 cut in state law enforcement grants for crime prevention and court programs.

HEALTH:

— About $243,000 in reduced funding for vaccinations
— About $911,000 in funds to help upgrade state’s ability to respond to public health threat
— About $2 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse
— About $341,000 for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
— Up to $205,000 in funding for services to victims of domestic violence
— About $1.5 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.

Locally, the sequester could also result in the closure of Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to meet with President Obama Monday.

When asked by reporters about the sequester, McCrory’s message was, “Get in a room and do what governors are doing across this nation and start reading their budget and making the tough decisions instead of across the board cuts.”

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