* As the threat of automatic federal budget cuts known as “sequestration” looms, the White House is distributing impact numbers for each state.
llinois would lose more than $58 million in federal education funding this year, about 14,000 of the state’s civilian Defense Department workers face furloughs and O’Hare International Airport could see customs delays of four hours or more unless Congress acts soon to avert mandatory budget cuts, according to the White House.
As part of its public relations effort to turn up the heat on Republicans in a standoff with President Barack Obama over taxes and spending, the White House on Sunday spelled out dire state-by-state impact of spending cuts now mandated by law to start March 1.
From a military air show scheduled for Rockford to Head Start services for about 2,700 children across the state, Illinois will see a wide array of fallout if almost all federal spending goes on the chopping block.
Last year’s “fiscal cliff” negotiations resulted in a two-month delay of the broad spending cuts, known as sequestration, but the two sides appear to be further apart than ever in reaching a compromise. Barring a last-minute breakthrough this week, Illinois and other states will see a 13 percent cut in defense programs and a 9 percent cut in civilian programs for the remainder of the federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
After agreeing last year to end payroll tax breaks and let income tax rates rise for the richest Americans, Republicans are refusing to consider White House demands for a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts to reduce the deficit.
Other than the large number of furloughs, these don’t appear to be absolutely wrenching cuts, but Illinois just doesn’t have the money to patch any of these holes. More on that later today.
* The White House list…
* Teachers and Schools: Illinois will lose approximately $33.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 460 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 39,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 120 fewer schools would receive funding.
o Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Illinois will lose approximately $24.7 million in funds for about 300 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
* Work-Study Jobs: Around 3,280 fewer low income students in Illinois would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 2,650 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 2,700 children in Illinois, reducing access to critical early education.
* Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Illinois would lose about $6.4 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Illinois could lose another $974,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
* Military Readiness: In Illinois, approximately 14,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $83.5 million in total.
o Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $19 million in Illinois.
o Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Illinois would be cut by about $7 million.
o Navy: Four planned Naval Station Great Lakes demolition projects ($2 million) could be canceled and a scheduled Blue Angels show in Rockford could be canceled.
* Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Illinois will lose about $587,000 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 Illinois find Employment and Training: Illinois will lose about $1.4 million in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 50,780 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 Illinois around 5,230 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 $357,000.
* Public Health: Illinois will lose approximately $968,000 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, Illinois will lose about $3.5 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3,900 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Illinois State Department of Public Health will lose about $186,000 resulting in around 4,600 fewer HIV tests.
* STOP Violence Against Women Program: Illinois could lose up to $273,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 1,000 fewer victims being served.
* Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Illinois would lose approximately $764,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.