JCPS, Fort Knox civilian employees among sequester impact - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JCPS, Fort Knox civilian employees among sequester impact

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Sequester has been in effect for more than a week and while life hasn't come to a halt, funding for classrooms, airports and military bases may be on the line.

Approximately $85 billion in automatic spending cuts is underway as entities receiving government money cope with the loss.

As President Barack Obama and U.S. Senators debate a solution, Rep. John Yarmuth offered insight into the impact sequestration will have here.

Automatic government spending cuts could strip money from JCPS programs and cause layoffs at Fort Knox. "With 5,000 civilian employees at Fort Knox, we can expect to see a very significant impact on terms of layoffs and furloughs," Rep. Yarmuth said.

Most of the military's civilian work force will be the first to feel the effects of sequester, according to the Department of Defense. Some workers will have to take an unpaid day off per week from April to October 1 in order to save $5 billion.

In preparation for the cuts, many agencies and school systems devised ways to delay as long as possible any actions necessitated by the halt in funding. "Many of the programs are being cut by 10% and principals in Jefferson County have already been informed they're going to lose special education money," Rep. Yarmuth said.

State education personnel estimated 1,100 children will be taken off Head Start. Yarmuth also identified the Perkins Grant Program, geared toward supplemental activities in school, as another impact of sequestration. "That's being cut by a $100,000 statewide," he said.

President Obama on Saturday called on Republicans and Democrats to resolve the sequester gridlock so the U.S. economy can continue to create jobs. The Associated Press reported Obama urged politicians from both sides of the aisle to compromise on the sequester, as the budget cuts are called, so the country can focus on nurturing a "rising, thriving middle class."

"At a time when our businesses are gaining a little more traction, the last thing we should do is allow Washington politics to get in the way," Obama said in his weekly speech.

Recently, Sen. Mitch McConnell struck a different tone calling the cuts "modest."

"We have a $16 trillion national debt," he said. "Our debt is as big as our economy. That alone makes us look like a Western European country... I think the American people know we have a spending addiction in Washington."

President Obama recently invited key U.S. Senators to a private dinner as lawmakers work on a compromise.

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