Effects of Sequestration Ugly for NW

By Tom Bacon

Sequestration could become an ugly reality for Northwest states if the federal budget cuts kick in on Friday.

The immediate impacts in Idaho, Oregon and Washington will be the loss of thousands of civilian jobs which now support the military, sharp cuts in education funding, Head Start, clean air and water and other programs which use federal money.

In Washington alone, about 29-thousand civilians working for the military will be furloughed, most of those in and around the big joint Army-Air Force base in Tacoma. The pay cuts will amount to more than 173-million dollars a year in Washington, about 16-and-a-half million dollars in Oregon and just under 7-million dollars in Idaho. In the latter two states, roughly 5-thousand people will be laid off.

Washington also stands to lose 11-point-6 million dollars in federal education funding and about 160 jobs in education. Oregon will lose more than 10-million dollars, and Idaho, about 37-million dollars. About 200 children will be turned away from Head Start programs in Idaho, and Oregon and Washington will each lose about 3-million dollars meant for clean air, water, fish and wildlife.

The immediate cuts in the current fiscal year amount to 85-billion dollars across the economy, but much sharper cuts are coming, with about 1-point-2 Trillion dollars to be slashed over the next decade.

The state-by-state laundry list came from the White House. Unless political leaders can come to some sort of agreement to stop or modify it, sequestration will take effect Friday.
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