Senator details cuts state may face

PARKERSBURG – Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Tuesday outlined what the sequestration cuts will mean in West Virginia.

In his report, Sequestration Takes an Ax to West Virginia, the cuts will impact federal agencies, including programs benefiting young children, Manchin said.

Among the impact of the top 20 cuts in West Virginia are:

* The Department of Defense would furlough 2,000 civilian employees in West Virginia, reducing payments by about $9.9 million, and cut the Army’s base operation funding by about $1.4 million.

* $96,000 in Justice Assistance Grants for law enforcement, prosecution, court services, crime prevention, drug treatment and enforcement.

* More than $110,000 in grants to emergency responders for equipment, protective gear, vehicles, training and other resources.

* Twenty-six Food and Drug Administration food safety facilities.

* The Mine Safety and Health Administration would complete all coal inspections, but would reduce inspections for Metal Nonmetal mines, technical investigations, respirable coal mine dust inspections, and accident prevention investigations.

* Cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration would result in furloughed air traffic controllers in West Virginia, more than 90 minute delays on flights to smaller airports and closure of airports with fewer than 150,000 flights a year.

* Overnight shifts would be eliminated at Yeager Airport in Charleston and Tri-State in Huntington and air traffic control facilities would be closed at North Central West Virginia Airport, Wheeling Ohio County Airport, Tri-State Milton J. Ferguson Field, Greenbrier Valley Airport and the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

* In Public health, $177,000 in cuts would diminish West Virginia’s ability to respond to public health threats, including infectious diseases, natural disasters and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological events. West Virginia would lose about $430,000 in grants that prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in 600 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs.

* More than $2 million would be cut from environmental programs that promote water and air quality. West Virginia would lose an additional $488,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

* $247,000 would be cut from programs that provide job search assistance, recommendations, placement, and training opportunities. About 9,230 West Virginian job seekers wouldn’t get help to find well-paying jobs.1

* More than $50,000 in cuts would prevent roughly 300 veterans seeking employment from receiving job search assistance.

* Financial aid would be cut for 200 low-income students in West Virginia who need the assistance to pay college fees. Another 60 students would no longer be eligible for the work-study jobs.

* The impact of sequestration to the West Virginia National Guard is estimated at $30 million. About 962 people out of a force of 2,500 will be directly affected. Fifty-six Guard members will be immediately laid off upon announcement of sequestration. More than 900 will be furloughed for 22 days over the final six months of the fiscal year. Military installations and units across West Virginia would also be impacted.

* Significant reductions in nutrition programs to seniors in rural areas and nutrition services to seniors through food deliveries like “Meals on Wheels.

* Cuts to the Center for Disease Control immunization programs would impact several hundred children in West Virginia and to the National Breast Cancer Early Detection Programs would impact 600 women in West Virginia.

* Reduced funding of $39,000 in reduced funding for programs that provide services to victims of domestic violence would leave 200 fewer victims served.1

* The $2.98 million in cuts to Head Start in West Virginia would reduce educational access for 415 3- and 4-year-olds and cut more than 180 educational jobs.

* In Rural Education Funding, $132,000 in cuts would eliminate technology services for 6,700 students and teachers would see professional development drastically cut.

* Cuts in Special Education Grants of $3.88 million would affect 1,985 special needs students and eliminate 47 special education teachers’ jobs.

* Title I cuts of $5.8 million would cut 79 teaching jobs and impact 7,705 low-income families and students.