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It's Here - Sequestration

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You've heard a lot about it - the "sequester" - those automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect last week because Congress failed to work out an agreement to reduce federal spending and balance the federal budget.  Iowa's top budget official David Roederer held a press conference on Thursday to outline the impact the "sequestration cuts" will have on Iowa.  Roederer said education reading programs, public health, and workforce development will be hit the hardest by the $46.5 million cut in federal funding. 

David Roederer, director of the state Department of Management, said initial reviews indicate 236 positions that are funded with federal money could be affected by employee furloughs or permanent layoffs if no changes are made by Congress. He said the cuts affect only about 0.4% of all state spending, which is more than $12 billion when federal funding and state spending are combined. He did not include impacts on state universities, which he did not expect would feel much of an impact.

“We believe we’ll be able to handle things without a whole lot of problems,” Roederer told reporters this week, but said that the problems could get worse. “This isn’t going to be short term,” he said. “This is not a good way to run anything, let alone a federal government.”

The breakdown of current year funding reductions included $14.1 million for education, $8.75 million for public defense, $4.32 million for human rights and $4.25 million for vocational rehabilitation.  Click here for a spreadsheet showing all of the cuts.