Pa. National Guard girds for effects of U.S. cuts
February 25, 2013By Mary Wilson
If the sequester is an ax, it might be coming down hardest in Pennsylvania on the head of the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which oversees the state's National Guard.
So Adjutant Gen. Wesley Craig is trying to get creative in order to avoid sending 1,700 technicians of the Pennsylvania National Guard on a forced, unpaid, once-a-week furlough starting in April.
"Over a period of a month or two, I'd probably start to see an increasing amount of helicopters that would not be ready, and also fixed wing aircraft," Craig said. "Never done anything like this before. so I don't have any real true data but you can guarantee that it would start to degrade that fleet."
To avoid that, Craig says he'll try a hiring freeze.
Even if the solution works, furloughs still will be required as part of the automatic federal cuts coming Friday for a wing of the Air National Guard based at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, Dauphin County.
The White House estimates that elsewhere in the state, furloughs are in store for some 26,000 civilian employees of the federal Department of Defense.
Craig says those furloughs could start in April and continue through September.
Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security this year:
|Teachers and Schools:||
|Reductions in funding for primary
and secondary education
|$26.4 million||$11.7 million||$1.4 million|
|Reduction in funding for education for Children with Disabilities||$21.4 million||$17 million||$1.8 million|
|Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water:|
|Lost funds for environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, and prevent pollution frompesticides and hazardous waste.||$5,705,000||$4,891,000||$1.1 million|
|Lost grants for fish and wildlife protection||$1,448,000||$472,000||$359,000|
|Reduction in pay for Department of Defence employees (furloughs)||$150.1 million||$75 million||$7.6 million|
|Army base operations funding cuts||$7 million||$52 million||$0.6 million|
|Air Force operations funding cuts||n/a||$7 million||$1 million|
|Law Enforcement and Public Safety:|
|Lost Justice Assistance Grant Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution||$509,000||$336,000||$83,000|
|Job Search Assistance:|
|Lost funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement||$866,000||n/a||$86,000|
|Reduced funding for vaccinations such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B||$361,000||$268,000||$26,000|
|Lost funds for responding to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and
biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events
|Lost grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse||$2,930,000||$2,330,000||$330,000|
|Lost funds for HIV testing||$639,000||$752,000||$70,000|
|STOP Violence Against Women Program:|
|Lost funds to provide services to victims of domestic violence||$271,000||$187,000||$19,000|
|Nutrition Assistance for Seniors:|
|Lost funds to provide meals for seniors||$849,000||$488,000||$201,000|