Projected Budget Cut Impact on Alabama


By Ellis Eskew

We are just four days away from major automatic federal budget cuts that would have a widespread effect on all Americans.

If Congress does not act, the country could see 85 billion dollars worth of cutbacks.

And here in Alabama, we could definitely feel the pinch.

It's the trickle down effect that comes with a poor economy.

The less you have... The less you give.

Russ Dunman, President and CEO of the River Region United Way, knows it all too well.

"If there are cuts, you cut jobs, and that impacts salaries that could impact donors. And donors have to take care of things at home first. So we could see a drop in our pledges, our donations to our charities," said Dunman.

If Congress does not take action by Friday, Alabama could stand to lose a lot.

The projected cuts include:

Teachers and Schools- $11 million and the loss of 150 teacher and aide jobs.

Military- 27,000 civilian jobs could be furloughed with the Army and Air Force losing $99 million.

Vaccines- $144 thousand and more than 2,000 children not getting vaccinated from measles and mumps and other illnesses.

Public Health- $1.8 million

Seniors- $865 thousand in meal funds.

Dunman says they are watching what happens in Washington and hoping for the best... Knowing the United Way's 46 organizations could be impacted if a decision is not reached by Friday.

"We raise the funds that we raise to give back to the organizations. So it will impact all of us. Any reserves we have, we could use. But we don't have much reserves. There just aren't reserves available these days to offset any huge differences," said Dunman.

Dunman says they faced this same issue in December as the fiscal cliff loomed overhead.

"And we were hopeful then just as we are hopeful now. And in December it smoothed itself out. We hope that will happen again," said Dunman.





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