Sequester Budget Cuts Mean Losses at Army Bases, in Schools in NY, NJ, Conn.

The White House has detailed the potential fallout in each state from automatic budget cuts set to take effect at week's end, and the losses in the tri-state include Department of Defense furloughs, along with school funding and public safety cuts.
The White House released a report Sunday as it seeks to avoid the economic fallout. White House officials say about 26,000 civilians who work for the defense department in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut would be furloughed and funding for the operation of Army bases would be cut by $198 million.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers are based on the $85 billion in cuts that are set to take effect Friday. 

The cuts could also delay tax refund checks for individuals if Internal Revenue Service employees lose their jobs. The IRS computers are already bogged down from last month's fiscal cliff showdown. 

"The delays are happening. It's only going to get worse," said accountant Jonathan Medows, who said he hasn't even been able to file his own return this week. He gets an error message when he attempts to e-file his taxes.

"It matters for the mom and dad that needed to pay their bills," said Medows. "They count on this refund every year to do the small things or big things, from a pair of shoes to a TV for the family. People bank on this money, they count on this money, they budget for this money."

In New York, other cuts include $42.7 million for primary and secondary education, plus $36.3 million in funds for teachers, aides and staff who help disabled children. 

The state would also lose more than $1 million in funds to upgrade its response to public health threats, including infectious diseases and biological attacks. New Jersey and Connecticut would also lose funding for the same purpose, according to the White House.

New Jersey would lose $11.7 million in education funding, and another $17 million in schooling for the disabled, while Connecticut would have $8.7 million in education funding slashed, and another $6.3 million for special-needs kids.

Head Start programs would be eliminated for more than 5,000 children throughout the tri-state.

Nationally, the $85 billion budget mechanism could affect everything from commercial flights to meat inspections. With Friday's deadline nearing, few in the nation's capital were optimistic that a realistic alternative could be found.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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