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Mar 2, 2013 12:24 AM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

What can Southern Colorado expect from sequestration?

A last ditch meeting Friday morning between President Obama and congressional leaders yielded no results and late in the evening the President signed-off on $85-billion in automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

So the sequester is here, for the past week officials in government jobs ranging from the military to local school districts have warned of the repercussions.

The possibility of furlough days and staffing cuts is a concern for government employees in Fremont County, most work in corrections facilities.

"The inmate population doesn't go home for the weekend, doesn't go home for a couple of days of furlough, we don't shut-down we, never shut-down," explained Mike Snobrich with the American Federation of Government Employees. "We need to maintain the safety and security of these institutions."

With around $40-billion in cuts coming out of Defense Department spending Fort Carson and other military instillations are also looking at scaling back. The Mountain Post will have to furlough each of their 3,000 civilian employees one day a week starting in April. Commanders have expressed their concern that furlough days will affect services for soldiers and their families as well as training and readiness.

"Without them (civilian employees) we can't accomplish our mission, they've been instrumental to our success," described Lt. Col. Armando Hernandez.

Local schools may also feel the affects of the budget cuts. District 11 in Colorado Springs has set aside some money, but they're still expecting a deficit and pressure to cut staff or resources for students.

"We're talking about people," explained Devra Ashby, a spokesperson for the district. "It could impact us and we could lose several positions and several assistant teaching positions in the schools."

Colorado stands to lose around $85-million in federal funding, including $8-million in education funding and $3-million in cuts to environmental and wildlife protection. Including the employees at Fort Carson, 12,000 defense department civilian workers are expected to be furloughed with their lost wages totalling over $68-million.

 

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