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Sequestration cuts could slow California economy, officials say

March 01, 2013|By Anthony York
  • President Obama at a White House press conference commenting about the failure to reach a deal to avoid billions in new budget cuts.
President Obama at a White House press conference commenting about the… (Mark Wilson/Getty Images )

SACRAMENTO -- With the passing of a deadline to prevent billions in across-the-board federal spending cuts, economic experts and White House officials say the reductions could slow down the state’s economy unless an alternative deal is reached.

The across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration could lead to cutbacks in defense, healthcare and other areas, putting California's fiscal health in danger.

Jason Sisney, a spokesman for the state's legislative analyst, said the cuts could mean "a few billion dollars" less for state coffers because of the resulting slowdown in economic growth.

The Obama administration says the cuts could mean an $87.6-million cut in funding for primary and secondary education in the state, “putting around 1,210 teacher and aide jobs at risk,” according to a White House statement.

An estimated 64,000 California civilian defense employees would be furloughed, and as many as 8,200 children could lose access to preschool.

The state could also lose more than $14 million earmarked for environmental protection, according to White House documents, unless Democrats and Republicans can strike a new deal.

“These cuts will hurt our economy.  They will cost us jobs,” Obama said Friday. “And to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise.”


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