How automatic budget cuts could affect Arizona

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by Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 5:44 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- President Barack Obama is asking the nation's governors to help him convince Congress to act and prevent 85 billion dollars in automatic budget cuts.

"I know as a leader you want all the help you can get so you call out to anyone who will listen," said Governor Jan Brewer, in Washington for the National Governors Association.  "I think it is probably asking a little much of Republicans at least to go up there."

The White House has released a list of impacts to Arizona from automatic budget cuts that are set to take hold this week. The Governor says she is concerned.

"I'm concerned about the cuts given to the economy and the loss of jobs in Arizona because we've worked so hard," said Governor Brewer.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March-September.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House didn't have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

The White House says the losses that Arizona would incur as a result of the automatic budget cuts include:

EDUCATION:

- $17.7 million in lost funding for K-12 schools. The lost funding could result in about 240 teaching and aide jobs being put at risk. Additionally, Arizona would lose about $10 million for 120 teachers and staff who help children with disabilities.

- Head Start services would be eliminated for about 1,000 children in Arizona.

- About 2,300 fewer low-income students in Arizona would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 330 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

ENVIRONMENT:

- Arizona would lose $2.1 million in funding for efforts to protect air and water and guard against pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

MILITARY:

- About 10,000 civilian employees for the Department of Defense would be furloughed. That would reduce gross pay by $52 million.

LAW ENFORCEMENT:

- Arizona would lose $298,000 in grants for law enforcement.

JOBS:

- Arizona would lose $781,000 in funding for job-search assistance. That translates to 26,000 fewer people getting help to find jobs.

CHILDREN:

- Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care.

HEALTH:

- About 2,500 fewer children will receive vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B.

- The state will lose $611,000 for improving its ability to respond to public health threats, such as infectious diseases, natural disasters and other events. In addition, Arizona will lose about $1.9 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse. The state also will lose $186,000 resulting in around 4,600 fewer HIV tests.

WOMEN:

- Arizona could lose up to $132,000 for services to victims of domestic violence, meaning 500 fewer victims could be served.

SENIORS:

- More than $1 million for providing meals to seniors could be lost.

BORDER:

- U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not be able to keep the same staffing levels of Border Patrol agents and CBP officers. Funding and staffing reductions would increase wait times at airports and weaken security between ports of entry. The White House didn't provide specific financial figures on how the budget cuts will affect ports of entry in Arizona.

A fact sheet is available on the White House website.

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