IOWA IMPACT: Sequester Cuts Could Affect State

Posted on: 5:20 pm, February 28, 2013, by , updated on: 05:38pm, February 28, 2013

The sequester deadline is approaching; however the impact on Iowa remains unclear.

Several state agencies have are unclear how exactly the cuts could affect their departments.

With a looming deadline, the sequester cuts are coming, but the governor’s says Iowa is prepared.

“We will be ready, we`re working closely with federal partners but Governor Branstad is taking it upon himself to minimize the impact of this Washington D.C. sequester on the needy Iowans who are relying on this,” says Governor Brandstad’s Communication Director Tim Albrecht.

Albrecht says until next week, officials can’t really predict what will or won’t happen.

However, he says Governor Branstad is taking a pro-active approach to the situation.

“Instead of launching scare tactics and trying to scare everyone we should work on solutions, Governor Branstad is going to work on solutions,  these cuts will be minimized because we`re going to work closely with our federal partners to determine exactly what it will look like,” says Albrecht.

The White House has laid out how the sequester could affect each state this year alone.

Some of the bigger cuts include.

Approximately 12 million dollars in funding for education, $2.4 million in cuts for environmental funding, and $376,000 in cuts for job search assistance programs in the state.

Other cuts would affect the Iowa National Guard.

Col. Greg Hapgood with the Iowa National Guard says the National Guard receives $370 million in federal funding and that could be cut by 10 percent, leading to possible furloughs.

“If the sequester kicks in it will be furloughs for all department of defense employees in a certain classification, and in that classification here in Iowa they’re called military technicians, we have approximately 1100 folks that could be affected by that,” says Col. Hapgood.

The National Guard has also held off on maintenance work, cut travel expenses and cut down on utility costs across the board.

Governor Branstad’s office plans to lay out some exact numbers of where cuts will need to be made next week.

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