Sequestration would hit Indiana hard

February 22nd, 2013 at 5:50 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The biggest effect of sequestration in Indiana, if it happens, would be on the Indiana National Guard.  Because Indiana has more Guard members per capita than most other states, the cuts will be significant.  Over 300 jobs would be lost along with military investments of over $100 million.

And while the White House blames Republicans on Capitol Hill, and Republicans accuse the President of using scare tactic, what happens there will also affect the state budget. Both Republicans and Democrats in the Indiana General Assembly are concerned.  “We would have to re-prioritize state dollars,” Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville.)

A Senate report estimates that 4,000 Indiana teachers would lose jobs due to a loss of federal block grant funding along with hundreds of others in Head Start, Special Ed, and related jobs.  The loss of funding would eliminate health care services for low income women and children, as well as immunizations, and services for domestic violence victims, among others.

Indiana House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says wants GOP state lawmakers to do something.  “And I think they should be talking to their very conservative members from Indiana’s (Congressional) delegation about why that would be a bad thing for Indiana,” said Pelath.

Representative Brown hasn’t done that but he’d like to see the Washington budget battles end.  “I’d like predictability,” he said.  “If they’re gonna cut, let it be predictable.”  He points out that almost two-thirds of the state budget goes to education and other areas in the budget are more difficult to cut.  That means that every dollar lost to sequestration will likely be a dollar that would otherwise go to Indiana schools.

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