Unless Congress acts by March 1, a series of automatic cuts-called the sequester-will take effect that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.
If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Florida this year alone are:
Teachers and Schools: Florida will lose approximately $54.5 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 750 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 95,000 fewer students would be served and approximately130 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Florida will lose approximately $31.1 million in funds for about 380 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 6,250 fewer low income students in Florida would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 1,700 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 Florida, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Florida would lose about $5.2 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Florida could lose another $1.1 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Military Readiness: In Florida, approximately 31,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $183.2 million in total.
Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $7 million in Florida.
Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Florida would be cut by about $23 million.
Navy: $135 million in funding for aircraft depot maintenance in Jacksonville and four
demolition projects in Pensacola ($3.2 million) could be canceled.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Florida will lose about $970,000 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.
Job Search Assistance to Help those in Florida find Employment and Training: Florida will lose about $2.3 million in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 78,960 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 1,600 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Vaccines for Children: In Florida around 7,450 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 $509,000.
Public Health: Florida will lose approximately $1.8 million 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, Florida will lose about $5 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 4500 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Florida State Department of Health will lose about $1.4 million resulting in around 35,900 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: Florida could lose up to $404,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 1,500 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Florida would lose approximately $3.8 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.