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White House: Cuts would hurt NM

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The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE — The White House has released a list of impacts on New Mexico to automatic budget cuts that are set to take hold 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 didn’t have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

The White House says the losses that New Mexico would incur as a result of the automatic budget cuts include:

EDUCATION:
• $6.1 million in lost funding for K-12 schools. The lost funding could result in about 80 teaching and aide jobs being put at risk. Additionally, New Mexico would lose about $4.4 million for 50 teachers and staff who help children with disabilities.
• Head Start services would be eliminated for about 500 children in New Mexico.
• About 160 fewer low-income students in New Mexico would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 50 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

ENVIRONMENT:
• New Mexico would lose $1.2 million in funding for efforts to protect air and water and guard against pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

MILITARY:
• About 7,000 civilian employees for the Department of Defense would be furloughed. That would reduce gross pay by $42 million.

LAW ENFORCEMENT:
• New Mexico would lose $135,000 in grants for law enforcement.

JOBS:
• New Mexico would lose $257,000 in funding for job-search assistance. That translates to 9,600 fewer people getting help to find jobs.

CHILDREN:
• Up to 400 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care.

HEALTH:
• About 790 fewer children will receive vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B.
• The state will lose $197,000 for improving its ability to respond to public health threats, such as infectious diseases, natural disasters and other events. In addition, New Mexico will lose about $450,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse. The state also will lose $84,000 resulting in around 2,100 fewer HIV tests.

WOMEN:
• New Mexico could lose up to $40,000 for services to victims of domestic violence, meaning 200 fewer victims could be served.

SENIORS:
• More than $400,000 for providing meals to seniors could be lost.

BORDER:
• U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not be able to keep the same staffing levels of Border Patrol agents and CBP officers. Funding and staffing reductions would increase wait times at airports and weaken security between ports of entry. The White House didn’t provide specific financial figures on how the budget cuts will affect ports of entry in New Mexico.