The Obama administration earlier this week issued a statement outlining some of the spending cutbacks that could occur this year in Hawaii if Congress failed to act to avoid the federal sequester.
The statement warned that nationwide the automatic cuts “threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.”
Some economists and members of Congress dispute the administration’s claims, but the White House asserts the following are examples of cuts that will occur in Hawaii under sequestration:
l Teachers and schools: Hawaii will lose approximately $4.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 60 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 9,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 20 fewer schools would receive funding.
l Education for children with disabilities: In addition, Hawaii will lose approximately $2 million in funds for about 20 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
l Work-study jobs: Around 30 fewer low income students in Hawaii would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
l Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 200 children in Hawaii, reducing access to critical early education.
l Protections for clean air and clean water: Hawaii would lose about $1.3 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Hawaii could lose another $359,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
l Military readiness: In Hawaii, approximately 20,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $134.1 million in total.
l Law enforcement and public safety funds for crime prevention and Prosecution: Hawaii will lose about $79,000 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.
l Job search assistance to help those in Hawaii find employment and training: Hawaii will lose about $111,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 4,130 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
l Child care: Up to 200 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
l Vaccines for children: In Hawaii around 760 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 $52,000.
l Public health: Hawaii will lose approximately $130,000 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, Hawaii will lose about $380,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 200 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Hawaii State Department of Health will lose about $76,000 resulting in around 1,900 fewer HIV tests.
l STOP Violence Against Women Program: Hawaii could lose up to $29,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.
l Nutrition assistance for seniors: Hawaii would lose approximately $189,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.