What Minn. stands to lose in automatic budget cutsby Brett Neely, Minnesota Public Radio
WASHINGTON — Details are emerging about the possible impact on Minnesota of the automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
According to the White House, the state's schools could lose as much as $16 million in federal aid, and would be among the state's biggest losers if the cuts take hold this week, according to a report the Obama administration issued Sunday as it seeks to avoid the impending economic fallout.
The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers are based only on the $85 billion in cuts for this fiscal year, from March-September, that are set to take effect Friday.
Other cuts in Minnesota would affect civilian Defense Department employees and environmental grants.
Still, Minnesota is likely to feel far less direct impact from the cuts than larger, defense heavy states. The Minnesota Management & Budget agency estimates the state is ranked 49th in terms of federal spending per resident.
As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.
According to the White House, here are some of the specific impacts to Minnesota:
-- Minnesota would lose about $7 million for primary and secondary education, putting about 100 teacher and aide jobs at risk.
-- About $9.2 million would be cut for 110 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.
-- 920 fewer low-income students would get aid to help pay for college and 500 fewer students would get work-study jobs.
-- 700 kids would lose Head Start and Early Head Start services.
-- Minnesota would lose about $3 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, and prevent pesticide and hazardous waste pollution. Another $1.6 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection would also be cut.
-- About 2,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed.
-- About $689,000 would be cut for job search assistance, referrals and placement, meaning about 23,270 people wouldn't get help finding work.
-- Vaccination funding would be cut, meaning about 2,360 fewer children would get vaccines for diseases including measles, mumps, whooping cough and tetanus.
-- Minnesota would lose about $507,000 in funds to help upgrade its response to public health threats such as infectious diseases or natural disasters.
-- About $1.2 million in grants that help prevent and treat substance abuse would be cut.
-- The Minnesota Department of Health would lose about $127,000, resulting in about 3,200 fewer HIV tests.
-- Minnesota would lose about $845,000 for meals for seniors.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.