Letters From the West

White House details sequestration cuts in Idaho

I wrote about sequestration and Idaho this morning. The White House list goes beyond mine but includes nothing at the Idaho National Laboratory and the BLM and Forest Service.

Here is what the White House released at 6 p.m. Sunday:

“If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Idaho this year alone are:

Teachers and Schools: Idaho will lose approximately $3.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 50 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 5,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 30 fewer schools would receive funding.

Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Idaho will lose approximately $2.9 million in funds for about 30 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

Work-Study Jobs: Around 170 fewer low income students in Idaho would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 40 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 Idaho, reducing access to critical early education.

Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Idaho would lose about $1.2 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Idaho could lose another $857,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

Military Readiness: In Idaho, approximately 2,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $6.8 million in total.

Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $1.7 million in Idaho.

Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Idaho would be cut by about $1 million.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Idaho will lose about $82,000 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 Idaho find Employment and Training: Idaho will lose about $280,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 10,490 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 Idaho around 890 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 $61,000.

Public Health: Idaho will lose approximately $150,000 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, Idaho will lose about $340,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 400 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare will lose about $41,000 resulting in around 1,000 fewer HIV tests.

STOP Violence Against Women Program: Idaho could lose up to $33,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.

Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Idaho would lose approximately $202,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.”

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West