EUGENE, Ore. — Managers from a number of Lane County departments are preparing for the potential cuts if the sequestration goes through March 1.
The impact could affect health care, education and public safety in Lane County.
Oregon Public Health would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars that help prevent and treat substance abuse.
“Pretty broadreaching cuts and programs we don’t like to see get hit because they’re necessary. They’re mandatory. These aren’t the fat that’s being trimmed down. We’re starting to cut into the muscle and the bone here,” said Jason Davis Lane County Health Spokesman.
Lane County Public Health says the women, infants and children program, or WIC, would be hit the hardest. Cuts would mean a loss of services for nearly a thousand people.
“This is kind of, for a lack of better terms, a domino effect. When we lose that official number because of federal cuts then it forces us to lose other funding,” Davis said.
Funding lost in other departments could impact the ability to get kids vaccinated.
Children and teachers would feel the budget woes in the classroom too. Oregon would lose $10.2 million in funding for primary and secondary education.
4J is looking at up to $1 million, mostly title-one funding, but that impacts more than half of its schools.
In Springfield, the sequester could mean up to several hundred thousand dollars less for classrooms and students.
The cuts extend beyond K-12; Lane County’s Head Start would have to cut two classes, affecting about 60 kids.
“It hurts our hearts that there are over 500 kids on the waiting list and there continue to be talks about cuts,” said Annie Soto,
Head Start Executive Director
Oregon law enforcement would lose about $155,000 in Justice Assistance Grants.
Budget constraints and consequences are familiar to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re always thinking about the budget. We’re always looking at it trying to figure out how we’re going to provide the services that the people of Lane County really deserve on the really minimal amount of funding that we have,” said Sgt. Carrie Carver, Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
Each department says it’s doing its best to prepare for any situation, but it won’t be enough if the sequester goes into effect Friday.