How budget cuts could affect Maine

Education and defense would be among the biggest losers in Maine in automatic cuts to the federal budget set to take hold this week, according to a report that the White House issued Sunday as it seeks to avoid the impending economic fallout.

File photo

According to the White House, Maine health care organizations could lose about $127,000 to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have called on President Barack Obama to work with congressional leaders to reach an agreement to prevent the cuts and reduce the national debt, citing a major contributor to Maine's economy.

"Failure to avert such an outcome could have severe ramifications for our nation's shipbuilding industrial base, including Bath Iron Works in Maine, the nation's premier shipbuilder and employer of more than 5,000 workers," the senators wrote in a letter last week.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March to September.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

According to the White House, Maine would lose:

Education

  • About $2.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 40 teacher and aide jobs at risk.
  • About $2.6 million for about 30 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for about 300 children.

Health

  • About $127,000 to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.
  • About $330,000 to help prevent and treat substance abuse.
  • About $51,000 for vaccinations, leaving 740 children without vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B.

Defense

  • 7,000 civilian Department of Defense workers would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $41.7 million.
  • $7.7 million cut from Army base operation funding.

Environment

  • About $1.4 million to ensure clean water and air quality and to prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.
  • About $496,000 for fish and wildlife protection.

Law enforcement

  • About $67,000 for law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

Seniors

  • About $197,000 to provide meals for seniors.

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Comments

Bob White's picture

A stimulus for everybody

A stimulus for everybody would be to cut the fuel prices in half. also at my house when I cant afford somthing I either dont get it or I have to cut somewhere. Maybe we as a country should start living buy these rules makes sense to me. But I'm sure their are people out their that want to blame other people for not going along.

Bob Wright's picture

The Sequester was Obamas

The Sequester was Obamas Idea. I

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Obama's idea

Obama has said over and over that the solution is a balance of cuts and tax increases and stimulus spending. If, however, the Republicans insist on balancing the budget through cuts alone, and they have rejected everything else, then it is only fair that everything should get cut not only the social safety net. That was Obama's idea.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Austerity

It will be interesting to see how the Republicans, who have been clamoring for austerity for the last 5 years, will find a way to blame it on Democrats when the fruits of austerity, ie massive job losses, a crashed consumer economy, poverty and sickness for the middle and lower classes, the disappearance of the whole notion of retirement and college education and crumbling infrastructure, come to pass. They haven't figured out yet that the stock market and the Red states both of whom are extremely dependent on Federal military largesse will get hit the hardest. And when they start laying off workers on all those military bases in the Red States, and when the western Red States catch fire next summer and get tornados next Spring and there is no money to help, what kind of a tale will they spin then? Oh, I know, all we will hear about is guns, abortion and religion, again.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Let the prosecution begin....

Unfortunately there is no law directly addressing ignorance, something which would come as a huge relief to the "Tea Party Republicans". In spite of that, can these fools be held legally responsible for any and all losses caused by this stupid, totally unnecessary financial bind we're all going to find ourselves in. How much longer are we going to be held hostage by this absolutely insane attitude of blocking everything in the name of the "Tea Party". Why does anyone even care anymore, what ,or even if these fools get anything? They are acting more and more like little children, holding their breath till they get their way. This has to stop. My solution is to just out law the entire mess of them. If their not working for the people, they walk out the door, simple as that. We have to stop allowing this tiny group of ignorant fools destroy our way of life.

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