Local education, airports to be hurt by sequestration cuts

2013-03-01T05:30:00Z 2013-03-02T16:37:03Z Local education, airports to be hurt by sequestration cutsBy Kenneth Lowe | klowe@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — Uncertainty for local organizations may be worse than any cuts from the looming “sequester” budget cuts eyed by Washington lawmakers.

Among cuts in Illinois: $33.4 million for education, $27.4 million for teachers who help students with disabilities, $83.5 million in military salaries, and smaller cuts to public health and law enforcement programs.

Those include downstate airports, Peace Meal home-delivered food and Showbus programs.

Central Illinois Regional Airport and Decatur Airport are on the list for tower closures if the full cuts proceed. Paul Harmon, Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority Chairman, said the airport still can take flights if CIRA’s tower closes, but will have to cancel more of them in inclement weather.

“Every time they do one of these things, it either creates costs or leads to inconvenience for the traveling public,” Harmon said, explaining delays in federal funding last year resulted in $200,000 in cost overruns for a fence.

Michael O’Donnell, executive director of East Central Area Agency on Aging, said groups like his are faced with making a year’s worth of cuts in half the time.

“A decision to cut funding is always difficult, but deferring it to a later date makes the administration of those cuts more difficult,” O’Donnell said.

One beneficiary of those funds is the Peace Meal program, which delivers meals to elderly and disabled people in counties throughout Central Illinois. Assistant Director Barb Seagren said the organization receives as much as a third of its funding from state and federal money.

Peace Meal helps elderly people to remain in their own homes.

“That’s the difference programs like ours make,” Seagren said. “It will impact people who have a difficult time putting a meal together, and when you’re able to put a meal together, I don’t think it’s very easy being able to comprehend not being able to do that.”

O’Donnell’s organization will shift funding to try to keep home deliveries at the same level, but likely at the expense of congregate meal sites that serve 6,500 seniors. Overall, sequester cuts could total $355,420 for his agency, which also would be passed along to Show Bus. The Chenoa-based rural transportation group could lose 2 percent of its funding.

Andrew Wise, business and operations manager for Olympia School District in Stanford, said his district receives about 10 percent of its funding from federal sources. Among other things, federal funding provides reading teachers and aides, and workshops and other training for teachers, Wise said.

“Ultimately for us, it’s the dollars,” Wise said. “We’ve lost almost $1 million in state and federal funding just over the past two years. Out of a $20 million budget, losing a million hurts.”

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(31) Comments

  1. Jose
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    Jose - March 02, 2013 9:03 am
    You're really torqued that I live in your precinct, too, aren't ya, Jeffy?

    But you're being too hard on yourself. I've never thought you had the IQ of a shoebox. The morals thing, yeah...and if you want to imagine yourself as a socialist, well, everyone needs a hobby.
  2. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:48 am
    65K, no
    more like 20K tops, and many other americans get similar benefits

    If being dirt poor was so great, EVERYONE would be doing it, and shouting how great it is.

    nobody is running to go live on the bad side of town with there wonderful section 8 voucher
  3. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:44 am
    LIE!

    Ethanol costs far more per gallon even with the tax subsidies for production, and the crop subsidies for farmers. The whole distribution network itself costs a fortune.

    FORTY PERCENT (40%) of US corn production goes to ethanol, both here and sent to Canada and Mexico (which we are subsidizing)

    Corn prices would plummet, leading to food prices declining as corn is the main ingredient in everything.


    cellulosic ethanol does have potential, if the mass production can be solved economically
  4. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:37 am
    It is not to hard to figure out

    + inflation
    + more retirees signing up for social security
    + more retirees signing up for medicare
    + more veterans qualifying for pensions and healthcare
    + more federal workers and postman retiring
    + more to pay prior interest on borrowed money
    + more to cover the empty social security fund (the IOUs)

    and without a single new program or increase, you have more spending, and it will continue on and on and on. The vicious cycle of borrowed money.
  5. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:33 am
    Yeah because increases to cover inflation,
    or union bargained raises,
    or providing new services required by new laws passed by congress can be funded with hopes and dreams.
  6. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:31 am
    Uh, name a current principal that was not originally a rank and file teacher??

    Like many citizens, some employees choose to educate themselves further and advance their careers. How dare they!
  7. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:29 am
    For one, there are no jobs for them, nor are there many good jobs for those not on the dole.
    Besides, the amount of money spent is trivial, and it all goes back into the US economy. Food stamps are just agricultural price supports.


    A flat tax can not fix anything because Congress can still create as many credits and exemptions as it wants, and has done. It is also highly regressive.


    There are some that are on the 'tax dole', like churches and religious institutions, individuals that funnel income through small businesses to avoid taxes and reap some benefits, and some shady non-profits.
    I just assign all my cars and yachts to my business and avoid your Luxury taxes.
  8. ct
    Report Abuse
    ct - March 02, 2013 8:23 am
    Peace Meals

    Just the kind of 'wasteful' government spending that those 'free loader' 49% take advantage of.
  9. ct
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    ct - March 02, 2013 8:22 am
    I'm curious about these 'handouts'? What new programs of big giveaways did I miss?

    I can think of quite of 'handouts' from the prior president.... My grandma got an social security check and the letter the week before said it was all because of him.
  10. catlbyer16
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    catlbyer16 - March 02, 2013 7:07 am
    Mr Snow about this ethanol thing. If we were to eliminate all corn type ethanol, the corn price per bushel would drop a thundering 6 cents a bushel and your gas price would go up around, at today's prices, 35-40 cents a gallon. When can you start as our new budget director?
  11. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - March 01, 2013 3:55 pm
    I am so glad you are not a Bloomington resident. I would hate to think that a full blown socialist with the IQ of a shoebox and the morality of an alleycat dwelled among us.
  12. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - March 01, 2013 3:52 pm
    On the contrary chump change. It was the low information voters who re-elected Barack Ocrsis back into office despite the dismal performance of his first term.
  13. The other dave
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    The other dave - March 01, 2013 2:49 pm
    Budgets? Budgets? Obama does not need any stink-en budgets! He just spends. When he runs out of money, he increases taxes and/or debt. Then spends some more.
  14. MacDaddy
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    MacDaddy - March 01, 2013 2:47 pm
    Just to deflect the people who say I have no say in this..... I am retired military from the Air Force Reserve, so I will not be able to collect a military pension until I am 60. It would have been nice to get a pension right at my retirement like active duty does, but for the Guard & Reserve, it doesn't work that way.
  15. The other dave
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    The other dave - March 01, 2013 2:47 pm
    Actually Cha-_ching, you are 100% incorrect. There are people that still do not think that Bush won either elections. But the "righties" know that Obama won and fear for our country because of it. Obama won because his voters like their handouts and did not want to vote to cut their handouts (the Santa Claus effect). Obama voters are low information voters because it is Obama's idea to have the sequestration and Obama is the one causing these "so called cuts" - which are actually still spending increases.

    Now if you want to see cuts, a real conservative could give you some Federal Government cuts. But I don't see too many real conservatives in any of our political parties.
  16. MacDaddy
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    MacDaddy - March 01, 2013 2:14 pm
    There are always cuts that can be made, people just need to look where they can be done. The problem with alot of government managers is the sense of spending everything in the budget, even when there is not a need to do so. As a retired military person, I have seen many different Federal gov't entities say they have no money, but come September 1st, $ miraculously appears and the mad dash in on to spend it, before the new fisacal year begins on October 1st. We as citizens should demand that reasonable budgets should be presented in the first place and the workers/supervisors/managers who underspend to get the job done right, should be rewarded, not ostricized.
  17. Lack Of Responsibility
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    Lack Of Responsibility - March 01, 2013 2:14 pm
    Then please refute the fact that even with all of these "spending cuts" the government is still going to spend more than they did last year and still run another huge deficit.
  18. Yepppppp
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    Yepppppp - March 01, 2013 2:07 pm
    Do you believe the economy will crash if we cut 85 billion from a 3.6 trillion dollar budget? If you do believe that as the deficit is 1.3 trillion please explain to all of us how you would raise the revenue to close the budget gap.
  19. Cha-ching
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    Cha-ching - March 01, 2013 1:51 pm
    Love the fact that the conservative righties on this board are trying to label liberals as "low information voters". Aren't the righties the ones who totally mis-called the recent election results, and are now proving their "high-information" status by repetively repeating exactly what the conservative media tells them to? Way to think for yourselves!
  20. Pist'L Packin' Mama
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    Pist'L Packin' Mama - March 01, 2013 1:31 pm
    Why not cuts to programs assisting those who make a living out of living on the dole? Maybe then they would get jobs, become a contributing member of society vice constantly acting like a leech. This would help close som loopholes. Why not a flat tax where ALL contribute the same and then have LUXURY taxes for those who want two-three houses; four-five cars, luxury boats/planes, etc. This would close some loopholes. Force people to adopt a life style that benefits all of us versus a certain sect here and a certain sect there? All need to adjust including the liar residing in the white house, his family, his staff!
  21. The other dave
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    The other dave - March 01, 2013 12:43 pm
    Is there any news agency that will do some work and report what the annual budgets were before and after these "cuts". That will prove to even the lowest information voter that nothing is being cut. The amount of money being handed out will still be increasing. It is just that the increase will be smaller that previously expected.

    As a way to show this thinking. Assume your last year salary was $50,000 and you expected a $5,000 raise. Instead, you got a $3,000 raise and will be making $53,000. To our federal government, you had a pay cut. To everyone else in this country, your pay increased. That is exactly what this sequestration is doing but no news organization has the guts to go against our supreme leader Obama. Probably because the news people fear how Obama will retaliate.
  22. Lack Of Responsibility
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    Lack Of Responsibility - March 01, 2013 12:41 pm
    Let's put this into simpler terms since you clearly don't understand what's going on. Let's say the government has a program that they spent 50 billion dollars on this year but next year they're planning to spend 100 billion dollars on it. If they turn around and decide to only spend 75 billion on that program instead of 100 billion that's not a cut in spending. It's a cut in proposed spending but they've actually increased the cost of the program by 50%. The government will say that they "saved" 25 billion dollars on that program when in reality they don't have any of the extra 50 billion they wanted to spend on it in the first place.
  23. MRS
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    MRS - March 01, 2013 12:19 pm
    As a few have stated, this is not a cut, it is a reduction of new money given to each agency. That is not a bad thing in itself. The problem with it is the department heads cut others but rarely themselves. And Jose, no body has a superior morality except the Lord. He is superior in every way. When Clinton changed the welfare rules that able recipients must work or do community service the welfare rolls dropped. People said if they have to work they want to get paid for it. That is morality. I watched a woman ask a question. Her question was why should she get off welfare? She worked a low paying job, she got rental assistance, food stamps, wic,utility help,babysitter help and EIC. Total all that up totaled 65K. That is a pretty nice sum of help wouldn't you say? Oh, she had 2 kids, one was in school. She also benefited from free tuition,free breakfasts and lunches as well. The thing is there is a lot of waste and fraud everywhere, fix that and you will see we really are not as bad off as it appears.
  24. Chadwick Snow
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    Chadwick Snow - March 01, 2013 11:42 am
    Federal expenditure reductions are fine. What this manifests is the inability of congress to behave as rational thinking leaders. A year ago the president, with the support of congress, deliberately created a monster - sequestration - that wold never be allowed to go into effect because both parties' sacred cows were disproportionately impacted. Guess what? The idiots couldn't agree on alternative cuts - and there are plenty of them such as Medicare, oil subsidies, ethanol subsides etc., - that make more sense. Dress them all in fool's clothes and march them around the capitol building. What a joke.
  25. Schleswig-Holstein
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    Schleswig-Holstein - March 01, 2013 11:20 am
    Malfeasance
  26. Euler 314
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    Euler 314 - March 01, 2013 10:57 am
    Cuts are not cuts. Black is not black. Up is not up.

    Keep spreadin' it.
  27. Proud Conservative
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    Proud Conservative - March 01, 2013 10:32 am
    Low information voters are the biggest threat to this nation. These cuts are not cuts. It's a smaller increase in overall spending. When we're subsidizing cell phones and minutes for people....when food stamp users have $10,000 in their spending accounts and carry Coach purses....we're spending too much. The "drama and fear" is CREATED by this administration. The president has the AUTHORITY to decide WHERE the cuts happen. He could choose to eliminate subsidized phones, but that would cut into his voter base. He could choose to cut gun running progams to Mexico. Instead, he creates fear "ohhhh, disabled kids....ohhhhhh, airports." Shame on us for falling for it.
  28. NormalNews
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    NormalNews - March 01, 2013 8:50 am
    It would be nice if the Pantagraph and the liberal media would report that these are cuts to INCREASES in spending from previous years. Cut away I say. Doesn't seem to matter to the Jose and the rest of the Dem whiners that my paycheck was sequestered 3% by Quinn and the Illinois Democrats two years ago to pay off their union cronies pensions..
  29. Jose
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    Jose - March 01, 2013 8:03 am
    What your warped view of morality misses is that humans gathered together into groups a long, long time ago not so that we could engage in activities that solely benefits the individual.

    Instead we found that by acting together we benefit all. Over the long run, the groups that put in place customs, traditions, and rules of behavior that benefit the most members not only last but succeed. This is history's dialectic. Your skewed viewpoint has always opposed, obstructed and whined, and despite the occasional victories, it is the losing view of mankind.

    I believe you and others of your stultified mindset truly believe that your morality is superior, but it's that very elavation of your morality based on self that carries inside the poison that leads to its own destruction. A morality based on a "golden rule" group concept carries only seeds for renewal and growth.

    Your spending cuts NEVER include the biggest welfare groups of all, do they? Where are the CUTS to the military (not veteran's pay, but crapola like the Pentagon's "black budget),CUTS to big oil, CUTS to big pharma, and CUTS to big ag?? Oh, no -- let the VOTERS die, but KEEP the MEGABIGWHATEVERS!!
  30. Yepppppp
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    Yepppppp - March 01, 2013 7:33 am
    It really is too bad media like The Pantagraph isn't asking questions and reporting the news.
    This year even with the mandatory cuts the Federal Government will spend more money than last year. Illinois Schools will lose $16.19/student. The United States has a 16,000,000,000,000 debt. Current year is to at 1,300,000,000,000 to that debt. This horrific budget cut will cut 85,000,000,000 from the budget. Leaving 1,115,000,000,000 left to add to the debt. Making the debt of the United States at the end of this fiscal year: 17,115,000,000,000.
  31. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - March 01, 2013 6:18 am
    Oh well, there comes a point in time that cutbacks are necessary. When a family experiences a loss of income in the household, every family member must learn to sacraifice. This is no different only on a larger scale. I also doubt if CIRA closes dwon its tower, this is just more doom and gloom liberal progressive scare tactics. I welcome spending cuts across the board for the entire country. I would like to see public schools go back to having principals appointed from rand and file members of the teachers faculty. Elementary schools do not principlas with PHDs making six figures to help kindegrarnters find the correct bus to board.
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