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.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:52:17 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>