EUGENE, Ore. — The federal spending cuts will have wide-reaching impact on organizations all over the country.
Earlier this week, KEZI 9 News spoke with local departments about the impact this sequestration could have on their operations. Lane County Public Health was one of them and specifically its WIC program.
The sequester means a cut to services to nearly a thousand people, while many others remain unsure about what exactly will happen.
Sequestration is getting started, which means cuts all across the board, including more than $80,000 to Oregon groups that provide services to victims of domestic violence like Eugene’s Womenspace.
“Right now the budget with the federal money we already have has already been set, and I don’t think they’re going to cut those,” said Peggy Whalen, Womenspace Executive Director.
However, next year could be a different story. Employees there were rejoicing over the recent passing of the Violence Against Women Act, but the sequestration does put a damper on things a bit.
“It is a federal funding source. So if there is a sequestration, and this does happen, then definitely they will have less money, and that again goes back to less money awarded or grants provided,” Whalen said.
While they worry about the impact on their funding, they’re very conscious of the effects on their partners too.
“Womenspace is an agency that’s duel track,” said Christin Enking, Domestic Violence Coordinator.
Not only do they deal in human services, but public safety as well, and they also feel the effects when their partners in law enforcement are experiencing loss too.
“That’s going to impact Womenspace because there’s no leverage in the correction system, so therefore, so we end up having to provide additional services to survivors to keep them safe,” Enking said.
While they admit the loss of those funds statewide may only affect them slightly, even the smallest losses can cause major damage.
“It’s a little bit here and a little bit here and a little bit here, and that starts adding up. And that’s what it’s really been feeling like the last few years. It’s not huge cuts in any one place, but it’s like death by a thousand cuts,” Whalen said.
We reached out to several other departments Friday, including local food, park, unemployment, military and veteran services, but each one said it was too early for them to tell how those national and state cuts could impact us locally.