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What Will Illinois Lose in the Sequester? Lipinski Reacts

The state might take a crippling hit if Congress does not act before Friday.

Deep, nationwide cuts are geared to take place March 1. They're the first of decade-long $1.2 trillon budget cuts poised to go into effect unless Congress can compromise on a defecit-reduction plan. 

Here’s what Illinois stands to lose, according to the White House:

  • 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 approximately120 fewer schools would receive funding.
    • 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 childhood education.
  • Military Readiness: In Illinois, approximately 14,000 civilian U.S. Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $83.5 million in total.
    • Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $19 million in Illinois.
    • Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Illinois would be cut by about $7 million.
    • 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.
  • 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.

U.S. Representative Dan Lipinski (IL-3) blasted the sequester that both sides must "end the blame game" and "halt the sequester" by passing the new Simpson-Bowles plan. Lipinski claims the plan would reduce the federal deficit by an estimated additional $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years through a combination of spending cuts, new revenue, and tax reform.

"The sequester uses a meat cleaver when a scalpel should be used. It's not the way to go about responsibly reducing our deficit," Lipinski said in press statement. "If we do nothing between now and March 1, we will make $85 billion in sweeping cuts without choosing between necessary and wasteful programs. It will also hurt our slow economic recovery and threaten our military readiness. This is irresponsible."

Do you think there is any chance that Congress can work together to find a solution to the sequestration before the ax swings? Tell us in the comments.

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