Georgia braces for federal cuts; White House predicts dire consequences

Published On: Feb 27 2013 12:34:11 PM EST

Bob Kovach/CNN

A May 2012 bill passed by House Republicans would have shifted all the cuts away from defense and onto other parts of the budget that Democrats generally want to protect. A late December 2012 bill would have replaced across-the-board cuts with cuts that target programs Obama supports, most notably spending to institute the health care law, but that bill expired with the last Congress.

ATLANTA -

Mandatory spending cuts will hit many federal programs beginning Friday unless President Barack Obama and Congress avoid the so-called sequester.

While Georgia officials say the effects here are not immediately clear, the White House predicts significant impact.

A state-by-state account released by the Obama administration says Georgia could, among other items, lose $233 million in Army base support; $190 million in pay for Department of Defense employees; $28.6 million in K-12 education support; and money that pays for immunizations, environmental management and meals for needy seniors.

Two big-ticket federal programs -- Social Security and Medicaid -- are exempt. So are Pell Grants, school nutrition and federal highway construction. But Medicare isn't.

Some analysts, meanwhile, say the biggest long-term effect could be an economy slowed down by diminished consumer confidence.

White House list of sequestration effects on Georgia:

  • Teachers and Schools: Georgia will lose approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding.
  • Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Work-Study Jobs: Around 2,490 fewer low income students in Georgia would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 890 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,700 children in Georgia, reducing access to critical early education.
  • Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Georgia would lose about $3.5 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Georgia could lose another $979,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
  • Military Readiness: In Georgia, approximately 37,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $190.1 million in total.
    - Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $233 million in Georgia.
    - Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Georgia would be cut by about $5 million.
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Georgia will lose about $427,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
  • Job Search Assistance to Help those in Georgia find Employment and Training: Georgia will lose about $873,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 33,160 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
  • Child Care: Up to 1,100 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
  • Vaccines for Children: In Georgia around 4,180 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $286,000.
  • Public Health: Georgia will lose approximately $925,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Georgia will lose about $2.5 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 2400 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And Georgia health departments will lose about $571,000 resulting in around 14,300 fewer HIV tests.
  • STOP Violence Against Women Program: Georgia could lose up to $208,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 800 fewer victims being served.
  • Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Georgia would lose approximately $1.3 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.

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