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Sequestration Pressure Felt Locally

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.

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  1. Jerry Gindlesperger says:

    I am sick and tired of hearing the bias and blatant outright deception being spewed by both those in Washington DC and the press regarding sequestration. First, it was a program hatched and promoted by the president and his cabinet. Second, It would not have been needed at all if the Senate, currently controlled by Democrats, would have pass an annual budget, as required by law. Third, the amount “cut” is not a cut at all but a reduction in the scheduled budget increases. Fourth, the amount’ of the so called cut, will not decrease our nation debt and will still result in an increase in the overall budget. Fifth, the amount, around 20 billion, is not even a rounding error in the trillions being wasted in Washington DC and less than half the amount promised for Sandy relief. Sixth, It amounts to 2-3 cents on the dollar at the federal level. Seven, If the state of Oregon was not getting Welfare, in the form of timber payments, and was logging our O&C lands we would not be in our current position of begging our federal government for funds for police and education. Lastly, we are over 16 Trillions in debt, if we can’t find a way to reverse this trend we will find ourselves in the same place as Greece.
    It would be very refreshing to see a news broadcast where we actually got an unbiased news report, not a regurgitation of talking points.

  2. Ahshucks says:

    Jerry I want thank you for your true and honest post. I really don’t understand why these fear mongering Liberals are drinking the presidents kool aid. I hope the public isn’t so dumb that they buy into the media’s BS.

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