At the Vermont National Guard Base in Colchester, crews are preparing for Adjutant General-elect Steven Cray to assume his new role. His first day as commander, the Guard may face more than $1 million in budget cuts. The federal penny-pinching is the result of a deal meant to be so toxic; Congress would be forced to negotiate an alternative.
"It was set up to not work; it was set up to not make sense. It was set up to bankrupt our county and put us back in recession. It wasn't supposed to happen and it doesn't need to happen," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
According to a White House release, grants for senior meals, substance abuse treatment, as well as environmental protection and cleanup will evaporate. But schools could lose the most.
Bill Talbott works for the Vt. Education Agency. He says federal dollars account for about $100 million of the state's $1.4 billion ed budget. In a conference call, the national secretary of education told state leaders to count on a 5 percent reduction.
"If there's good news, that's better than eight or nine," Talbott said. "I don't think it's devastating, it will mean adjustments."
Funding for 40 teachers and aides are on the line, including 20 staff working for children with disabilities. Talbott says the states and districts must fill in holes left in mandatory programs and will face tough choices elsewhere. A last-minute deal won't necessarily change that.
"They have to do something whether it's the sequester plan or something else, they've got to do something and so there's going to be reduction somewhere," Talbott said.
This school year is funded. But Talbott says the next year will be much better if states are allowed to determine where to make cuts.
Talbott says the planned federal cuts do not change the Agency's commitment to reforms proposed by the governor.
The military faces some of the deepest reductions with the sequester. At Camp Johnson Thursday, Governor Shumlin said initially he never imagined Congress would allow the sequester to happen, but now believes it's a near certainty.
Should cuts take effect, more than 500 Guard members will likely be forced to take an unpaid day off every week through September. That will cover about $1.2 million in payroll savings, but means a temporary 20 percent pay cut for those getting furloughed.
"I think everyone's concerned and I think as a Vermont National Guard community we're going to be able to chip in and help each other out in the best ways we can, even if it means people bringing potluck lunches instead of going out to lunch," said Capt. Dyana Allen of the Vermont National Guard.
Allen says because she doesn't have children she won't be as affected as many of her peers. She says those who face potential furlough are canceling vacations, arranging possible carpools and planning to provide day care for each other.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>