Estimates Of Sequestration In Alabama


By Catalina Trivino

The white house released some new numbers on what sequestration means for each state -- and Alabama is likely taking some of the hardest hits.

It's the war of words over sequestration, which could lead to $85 billion dollars in automatic spending cuts. These are big budget cuts that could take effect as of March 1 -- numbers that paint a grim picture for Alabama.

"We're concerned about it, you know, everybody hopes that in the end at the eleventh hour these two sides will come together and come up with some kind of compromise," Said Greenville Police Chief, Lonzo Ingram.

If the cuts go through on Friday, law enforcement stands to get hit. The White House says local agencies would lose $230,000 worth of federal grants.

"It can affect everything from courts and prosecutions, to crime, victim's compensation... all these things. It could affect corrections [and] almost any program that gets federal funds could be affected by this," Said Ingram.

Head Start programs, which provide educational services to low-income children and their families, would also be cut for about 1,100 children in the state.Nutrition assistance for seniors are also on the chopping block. $865,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors could be lost.

"The income that they get now, some of them can't afford a lot and that's like 800 and something thousand people that would not get a meal," Said Greenville senior center manager, Cathy Brown.

These cuts will go into affect if President Obama and Congress can't agree on another plan to help balance the budget.

Other areas that would be impacted by sequestration (estimates according to the White House):

Job-search assistance: Alabama will lose about $472,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, affecting about 16,600 people.

 Public Health: Alabama will lose about $457,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats. Another $1.18 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse will be lost, which means around 1,600 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. HIV testing will also be affected losing $165,000, estimating 4,100 fewer HIV tests.

Work study jobs: Around 940 fewer low income students in Alabama would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college; 280 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

Military readiness: Approximately 27,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $176.9 million in total. Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $91 million in Alabama. Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Alabama would be cut by about $8 million.

Child care: Up to 500 disadvantaged children could lose access to child care.

STOP Violence Against Women Program: $102,000 in funds will be cut that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 400 fewer victims being served.

Vaccines for children: About 2,110 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 $144,000.

Teachers and schools: Alabama will lose approximately $11 million in funding for primary and secondary education, and another $9 million for special education funds. About 21,000 fewer students would be served. About 40 fewer schools would receive funding. This will put about 260 teacher, aide and staff jobs at risk.

Funding for clean air and water: Alabama would lose about $2 million in clean water and air quality funding and another $1 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.