News Column

White House Outlines Kentucky's Financial Losses If Sequester Takes Effect

Feb 25, 2013

The White House said Sunday that Kentucky could lose millions of dollars this year alone if Congress doesn't act by Friday.

That's when a series of automatic cuts -- called sequestration -- will take effect.

For example, Kentucky would lose $11.8 million for primary and secondary education, "putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk," the White House said in a release.

Education for children with disabilities also would be affected, the White House said. The state would lose $7.7 million for about 90 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.

Meanwhile, Head Start and Early Head Start services "would be eliminated for about 1,100 children in Kentucky, reducing access to critical early education," the release said.

Military readiness also would be affected, although the release didn't specify the effects for installations such as Fort Knox, Fort Campbell or the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County. The release simply said about 11,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, "reducing gross pay by around $54.4 million in total." Additionally, funding for base operations would be cut by $122 million in Kentucky, the release said.

Kentucky also would lose $2.1 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, and $478,000 for job-search assistance, referral and placement. The latter could mean 16,690 fewer people get the help and skills they need to find employment.

And Kentucky would lose $677,000 for meals for senior citizens, the White House said.

Source: (c)2013 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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