Sequester leads to furloughs, project delays at Indiana National Guard

2013-03-04T19:30:00Z Sequester leads to furloughs, project delays at Indiana National GuardDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
March 04, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana National Guard felt the first pinch Monday as federal budget cuts known as the sequester began to take their toll on Hoosiers.

State budget officials announced that more than 1,000 military technicians will lose a day of pay every week between April and September, and more than $30 million in Guard construction projects will be delayed due to the $85 billion reduction in federal spending.

In addition, federally subsidized unemployment benefits for the 33,000 Hoosiers that have been out of work for more than 26 weeks will be cut 10.7 percent starting next month.

Congress and the president did not reach a deal by Friday's deadline or over the weekend to avert or alter the sequester cuts enacted in a 2011 budget agreement that prevented the United States from defaulting on its national debt.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence voted in favor of the budget cuts when he was a member of Congress.

Chris Atkins, director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget, said the state will replace some federal cuts with state dollars, including money for Women Infants and Children food benefits, job training programs through the Department of Workforce Development and workplace safety programs administered by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"Thanks to Indiana's strong fiscal position and careful management, the state will be able to manage the budget cuts with minimal impact to Hoosiers," Atkins said.

Several state agencies, including the Family and Social Services Administration and the State Department of Health, are still awaiting federal guidance on how the budget cuts will affect their services.

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