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What Will Illinois Lose in the Sequester?

Our state might take a crippling hit if Congress does not act before Friday. Here is some of what we stand to lose, and a comment from Elmhurst's 5th District Rep.

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

Sequestration could mean that everyone from teachers to meat inspectors to prison employees could be furloughed, not to mention health researchers, park rangers and air traffic controlers. Check out this Feb. 26 Huffington Post article on 9 Ways the Sequester Will Affect You. Suffice to say, it will affect you.

Close to home, according to Eye on Washington, as of November 2012 more than 70,000 federal employees resided in Illinois' 5th District, which includes almost all of Elmhurst. More than 8,300 live in the DuPage portion of the 5th District.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-5th) had this to say about sequestration on Wednesday on the House floor:

For the dozens of groups I’ve met with over the last week, the sequester is not some abstract budgeting term but something that will have real, damaging effects. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago estimates 125 AIDS-afflicted families will lose their housing under sequestration. Illinois Partners for Human Service and the Ounce of Prevention Fund informed me that 4,000 children in Illinois won’t receive Head Start Services.

There is no question we need to address our unsustainable debt and deficit but the cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease. Sequestration is budgeting with a meat cleaver, it’s absurd, and it’s got to end. Congress must come together now and compromise on a solution that is a big, balanced, bipartisan like the plan modeled on Simpson-Bowles.”

And, more than a dozen Elmhurst-based businesses have Department of Defense contracts, including McMaster-Carr Supply, Patten Industries and Littmann Industries, according to forthecommondefense.org.

But the White House concedes the impact will not be as immediately dramatic as recent posturing indicated. The New York Times reported Wednesday that President Barack Obama is counting on “a constant drip-drip-drip of bad news” slowly coming out in congressional districts in the weeks ahead to erode the steadfast opposition of Republican lawmakers to raising taxes.

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

Teachers and Schools: Illinois will lose about $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 about 120 fewer schools would receive funding.

Education for Children with Disabilities: Illinois will lose about $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 about 2,700 children in Illinois, reducing access to early education.

Military Readiness: In Illinois, about 14,000 civilian 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
  • Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations would be cut by about $7 million.
  • Navy: Four planned Naval Station Great Lakes demolition projects ($2 million) could be canceled (as well as a scheduled Blue Angels show in Rockford).

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 about $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.

Mike W February 28, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Be fair and balanced. Cuts are 9 times less budget growth that has happened during this Administration. What are the positives we got from 18% increased spending? How many new teachers were supported, how many work study programs, how many more kids with shots, how much aid for STOP. Or, where was the money spent? Unemployment and increasing the #'s on disability where growth has exploded. Cut what's been growing and acknowledge spending rates are not sustainable.
Deke February 28, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Even if the sequester kicks in, this fiscal year's federal budget will be $3.553 trillion -- still greater than last year's budget of $3.538 trillion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
NancyC February 28, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Bring it on. We are used to tightening belts in this household, time for everyone to share in the experience and redouble the efforts to cut, cut, cut. I assure you there are plenty of wasteful programs and duplication that could be cut first but naw, the admin wants to scare the "needy" and disabled and make those who know the benefits of living within your means(though they too have failed to) and within a "budget" look uncharitable.
Steve February 28, 2013 at 09:20 PM
"accordiing to the White House"...hahahaha. That doesn't mean much.
Independence666 February 28, 2013 at 11:28 PM
The sequester was Mr. Obama's idea. Just another screw-up for this clueless President. Let's see what kind of damage this blunder will do to the country. The saddest thing is that we still must endure four more years of this idiot!
imo March 02, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Woah....back up. Let's look at the real problem. We had 2 unfunded wars and over 10 years of tax breaks that the country vould not afford. I agree with Nancy. It's time to cut spending and let all the taxes return to Clinton era rates. As for the sequester deal, Boehner said he got 99% of what he wanted. Several Republicans were quoted on March 1st, expressing their elation with the fact that the sequester has been triggered. I endured 8 years of GWB and I am still dealing with the after taste. Let's all just agree that he started the problem. After all, the man inherited a budget surplus. At least Obama is trying which is more thanI can say for the Republicans.
Independence666 March 02, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Sorry imo, the time for blaming Bush is OVER!! Obama is a fool who has failed us pure and simple. You say, "at least Obama is trying". Would you say the the same thing about a clueless bumbling doctor who is about to do heart surgery on you? I would guess not. But here we have a complete idiot running the country and it's OK, because he's "trying". Give me a break!!! It's voters like you who we will have to blame when it all comes tumbling down.
imo March 02, 2013 at 05:30 PM
You seem to have all the answers 666. Please enlighten us with your wisdom... show us the way to the promised land. Maybe you could be our fearless leader. I am sure you have a degree from Columbia and Harvard.
imo March 02, 2013 at 05:32 PM
And the time for Bush will never be over. We will be suffering the consequence of his failed. Presidency for decades. Worst. President. Ever!
Independence666 March 03, 2013 at 01:27 AM
It's not rocket science imo. We simply need to have someone in office who cares more about the country than he does about his political buddies. Obama is nothing but an old school, Chicago style, hack politician, who takes care of his friends at the expense of everyone else. Things will not improve until he is out of office. Prepare for four more years of pain.
Independence666 March 03, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Bush was bad, but Obama has taken BAD to whole other level.

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