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Hickenlooper Talks Spending Cuts On ‘Face The Nation’

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Gov. John Hickenlooper on "Face the Nation" (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper on “Face the Nation” (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4/AP) – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is wrapping up his visit to Washington, D.C. for the National Governors Association meeting.

If Congress can’t reach an agreement before March 1, $85 billion in spending cuts will go into effect.

Sunday on “Face the Nation” the governor talked about the impact those cuts would have on Colorado.

“We need to have a balanced approach to this,” Hickenlooper said.

He said all the Western governors had breakfast Sunday morning with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

“They laid out in pretty graphic detail how many food inspectors would be cut. Not just in Colorado, but across the United States in terms of making sure our food is safe,” he said. “You look at some of the cuts in public safety. If you’re going to cut the FBI, and then you say, ‘We’re not going to cut the FBI,’ well, where are you going to get that cut? You’re going to cut the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Prisons, you’re going to cut border patrols.”

Hickenlooper said if the governors can work together well, he thinks Congress can get it done.

Democrats and Republicans are blaming each other for failing to come up with a plan for taxes, the budget and spending.

How Automatic Budget Cuts Could Affect Colorado

Examples of how Colorado could be affected by the automatic budget cuts that are set to take effect this week.

The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March-September.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

EDUCATION:

- Colorado could lose about $8.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 120 teacher and aide jobs at risk. About 12,000 fewer students would be served and about 40 fewer schools would receive funding.

- The state could lose about $8.1 million in funds for about 100 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

- Head Start and Early Head Start would be eliminated for about 700 children.

ENVIRONMENT:

- Colorado could lose about $2 million in environmental funding and another $1.2 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

MILITARY READINESS:

- About 12,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $68.5 million.

- The state could lose $57 million in funding for Army base operations and $8 million for Air Force base operations.

LAW ENFORCEMENT:

- A $213,000 cut in grants that support law enforcement, prosecution, courts, crime prevention, corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

- Colorado could lose $331,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral and placement.

PUBLIC HEALTH:

- About 2,240 fewer children will receive vaccines due to reduced funding of about $153,000.

- The state could lose about $1.3 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse and up to $109,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence.

- A $720,000 cut in funds that provide meals for seniors.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

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