Washington, D.C. (KELO-AM) - Democratic Senator Tim Johnson says South Dakota would be particularly hard hit by the federal funding cuts mandated by the sequester scheduled to take effect on Friday.
“South Dakotans are going to feel the cuts from the sequester,” said Johnson. “Teachers, work study students, military civilians across the state, meals for seniors, and first responders are all going to take a hit. The negative consequences of the sequester will not happen all at once but over the course of the year. This impact will be very negative.”
“The time has come for Congress to stop the political mudslinging and start working on smart solutions to address our budget problems. The Senate will be voting on a balanced approach to avoid these cuts this week. I call on my Republican colleagues to vote for this reasonable plan that provides for targeted cuts along with raising revenue,” said Johnson.
“We need a balanced approach to cutting our deficit that does not put the entire burden on working families and our military. Profitable big oil companies, corporate jet owners, and hedge fund managers can and should contribute their fair share to deficit reduction.”
Senator Johnson pointed to White House examples of the sequester cuts in South Dakota this year:
Teachers and Schools: South Dakota will lose approximately $1,162,000 in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 20 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 1,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 10 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, South Dakota will lose approximately $1,779,000 in funds for about 20 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 90 fewer low income students in South Dakota would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 10 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 200 children in South Dakota, reducing access to critical early education.
Military Readiness: In South Dakota, approximately 1,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $6.3 million in total.
Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $900,000 in South Dakota.
Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in South Dakota would be cut by about $1 million.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: South Dakota will lose about $37,000 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 South Dakota find Employment and Training: South Dakota will lose about $216,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 8,060 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 100 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 South Dakota around 950 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 $65,000.
Public Health: South Dakota will lose approximately $122,000 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, South Dakota will lose about $250,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 1000 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the South Dakota State Department of Health will lose about $34,000 resulting in around 800 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: South Dakota could lose up to $16,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.