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Sequester has an impact on Nevada economy, jobs

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Updated: 2/20/2013 6:44 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A little over a week to get a deal done, but if you depend on federal funding for a paycheck or a grant, it may be on thin ice if those cuts hit.

Congressman Steven Horsford met with some senior citizens at the Walnut Community Center. He was trying to answer questions on how sequestration, giant federal cuts, might impact them.

“A lot of our medical providers and our hospitals are already not getting reimbursed under Medicare at adequate levels so further cuts would cause some providers to just not cover or not see Medicare patients at all, and this is worth about $100-million worth of impact to Nevada,” Horsford said.

A study by George Mason University says the sequester would cost Nevada about 10,000 jobs.

It would also impact our tourism: layoffs means flights could be delayed and security checkpoints could be a nightmare.

“The FAA would be affected; the air traffic controllers are federal employees as well as the TSA, and at the time our economy is trying to recover, when tourism is coming back, people are getting back to work, the last thing we need is to do is have workers affected,” Horsford said.

Some principals in Clark County are closely monitoring the situation because their schools heavily rely on Title 1 federal funds.

“If you're a title one school, over $100,000 of your budget minimum is really important to have your school run smoothly,” said Matt Kelly Elementary School Principal Patricia Harris.

She’s watching the sequestration issue like a hawk. Her school receives about half of its budget from Title 1. If that dries up, even temporarily it would impact everything from all day kindergarten, to tutoring, to even staffing.

Meanwhile Air Force furloughs could be issued for more than 1,400 jobs in Nevada.

The Air Force says if sequestration is triggered it would “…reduce flying hours by as much as 18 percent and impacts could be felt in operational and training missions.”

And that could include cancellation of the Thunderbirds.

A big chunk of the sequester would come from the defense department.

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