Congresswoman Nita Lowey spoke on Monday about the widespread impact in the Lower Hudson Valley if sequestration goes into effect as scheduled on Friday, March 1. She characterized the $85 billion across the board federal program cuts as “senseless.”
In Rockland and Westchester counties, she predicted school districts would lose $4.4 million in federal funds. On average, each school district would be cut by $100,000.
In Rockland, East Ramapo stands to lose $843,520 and Clarkstown would be cut by $121,614. The impact on Nyack would be $50,067, Nanuet $30,397 and Pearl River $33,620. In Westchester, White Plains, Port Chester/Rye and Lakeland would be the hardest hit with cuts of $156,363, $119,589 and $94,784 respectively. (See attached PDF for specifics on other school districts.)
Camp Smith in Cortland would receive $3.1 million less in federal funding. Out of the 62 National Institute of Health grants totaling $25 million that are earmarked for medical research in the two counties, $1.3 million of 5.3 percent would be cut over the next seven months.
We’re facing a self-inflicted economic wound, and action cannot wait,” said Lowey during a conference call. “I hope that the Republican leadership will come to the table so we can find a reasonable, bipartisan solution to avoid these senseless cuts. ”
Lowey said the effect of sequestration might not be felt for one or two weeks but then organizations will have to let people go because the funds will not be available to pay them. In the case of first responders, $860,000 would be trimmed from the training and equipment budgets for volunteer firefighters and law enforcement officers.
The State Criminal Assistance Program would not escape the cuts. The program, which covers jail, costs for local governments housing undocumented aliens who commit crimes, would be chopped by $62,955 in Westchester and $22,354 in Rockland.
Lowey said sequestration would result in national job losses up to 750,000, a slowing economy and cuts in services that will affect everyone. The ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee depicted sequestration as a Republican policy pushed forward by members of the Tea Party. She emphasized it is not the balanced approach required to addressing the federal deficit and debt.