New report shows across-the-board cuts in Washington

OLYMPIA — Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Bremerton) renewed his call for bipartisan compromise as the Obama Administration released a new report detailing the harm that upcoming across the board cuts would create in Washington State.

President Obama and Congress signed off on $85 billion in cuts across the government in 2011, giving themselves until Jan. 1 to revise the plan. Congress delayed the sequestration, but did not come to a solution by the new deadline, March 1.

Kilmer repeated his call for a balanced, long-term solution to replace these harmful cuts which could put our fragile economy back into a recession in an op-ed last week.

“Every day that Congress refuses to do its job is another day thousands of middle class jobs are put at risk,” Kilmer said. “Families in Washington State can’t afford these non-strategic across-the-board cuts. I call on my colleagues to stop this self-inflicted wound and do what’s right for our economy and national security. Congress must replace this mindless approach with a balanced plan to address our long-term financial sustainability.”

The new report demonstrates some of the devastating and widespread impact to local communities. Specific examples of the effects in Washington State this year alone are:

— Teachers and schools: Washington will lose approximately $11,606,000 for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition, about 11,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 50 fewer schools would receive funding.

— Education for children with disabilities: Washington will lose approximately $11,251,000 for about 140 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

— College aid and work-study jobs: Around 440 fewer low income students in Washington would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 180 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

— Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,000 children in Washington, reducing access to critical early education.

— Protections for clean air and clean water: Washington would lose about $3,301,000 to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Washington could lose another $924,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

— Military readiness: In Washington, approximately 29,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $173.4 million in total. Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $124 million in Washington. Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Washington would be cut by about $3 million. Navy: Cancel aircraft depot maintenance at Whidbey Island, a demolition project in Bremerton.

— Law enforcement and public safety funds: Washington will lose about $271,000 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: Around 24,510 fewer Washington residents will get the help and skills they need to find employment as Washington will lose about $661,000 for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning.

— Child care: Up to 800 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 Washington around 2,850 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.

— Violence Against Women grants: Washington could lose up to $143,000 to provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.

— Nutrition for seniors: Washington would lose approximately $1,053,000 to help provide meals for seniors.

— Public Health: Washington will lose approximately $642,000 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, Washington will lose about $1,740,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3,800 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Washington State Department of Public Health will lose about $174,000 resulting in around 4,300 fewer HIV tests.


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