If the "Fiscal Cliff" wasn't enough to worry about, then how about a sequestration? The word sounds like the name of an ominous spaceship falling from the sky but in reality, it means across-the-board budget cuts - which could be just as bad the spaceship.
The cuts are supposed to take effect March 1st.
How would they affect Florida?
Here's how the White House put it if the sequestration does take effect:
- Teachers, Schools, & Higher Education:
Florida would lose about $54.5 million in funding for primary and secondary education. That means 750 teacher and aide jobs are at risk. About 95,000 fewer students would be served. About 130 schools would not receive funding.
The state would lose about $31.1 million in funds, which affects 380 teachers, aides, and staff who work with children with disabilities.
About 6,250 low income students would not receive aid to help finance college costs through work-study jobs. Approximately 1,700 students wouldn't be getting those jobs.
The Head Start program, which provides early education to many children, would be eliminated for about 2,700 kids.
- Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water:
The state would lose $5.2 million in funding that go towards clean water and air quality, prevention of pesticide pollution and hazardous waste. Fish and wildlife protection could lose an additional $1.1 million in grants.
Florida's 31,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed and would reduce gross pay by about $183.2 million total.
Army base operation funding would be cut by around $7 million.
Air Force base operation funding would be cut by approximately $23 million.
In the Navy, cancelations of $135 million in aircraft depot maintenance (Jacksonville) and $3.2 million in four demolition projects (Pensacola) would happen.
- Law Enforcement and Public Safety
About $970,000 would be lost in Justice Assistance Grants, which 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:
The state would be losing $2.3 million in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 78,960 fewer people would get the help and skills they need to find employment.
- Child Care & Children Vaccines:
About 1,600 children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
About 7,450 fewer children would be getting vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to a loss of $509,000.
- Public Health:
About $1.8 million could be slashed in funds that go towards upgrading the state's ability to respond to public health threats such as infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.
Approximately $5 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse would be lost. That means 4500 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs.
The Florida State Department of Health would be out of $1.4 million, which equals to 35,900 fewer HIV tests.
- STOP Violence Against Women Program:
Florida could lose up to $404,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence. That means about 1,500 fewer victims would be served.
- Nutrition Assistance for Seniors:
Florida would be out of $3.8 million in funds to provide seniors with meals.