"It doesn't have to happen, but we need to manage it," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.
One-point-three million dollars by June, another $7 million a year later and $15 million to follow-- that's how much the governor and state budget experts say federal sequestration will cost Vermonters over the next three years.
The cuts are spread across a number of agencies, and will hit the unemployed, working students and fuel assistance programs.
"We're trying to manage it. We're trying to deal with it as best we can, to mitigate the pain as much as we can, but we do not have the resources to replace those federal dollars," Shumlin said.
The cuts amount to a fraction of a percent of the $1.85 billion Vermont receives from the federal government every year.
Shumlin says Washington, D.C., must rethink sequestration.
Vt. House Speaker Shap Smith says despite planning for cuts, Vermonters are likely to carry the burden of extra cost or reduced services.
"My concern, quite frankly, is the notion that the federal government will act. They have not shown themselves capable of doing so," Smith said.
Democrat Cynthia Browning of Arlington joined Republican representatives in voting against the recently passed House budget bill which includes about $27 million in new taxes. She says the new report confirms her concern: a lack spending thrift in the face of unknown federal cuts
"We always say in Vermont, well, we balance our budget, we don't have a deficit. We only balance our budget because the federal government gives us a truckload of money and they don't balance their budget, so this is like a cascade," Browning said.
The federal shortfalls come as Vermont struggles with declining revenues and population. The new projections can and will change again though if the federal government shifts course on sequestration.
Federal funds amount to about 35 percent of total state spending. Many of the legislators we spoke with Thursday had not seen the report yet.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:10:32 GMT
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help. Lincoln will get more than $4.5 million for a bridge repair from Tropical Storm Irene. FEMA also awarded Lebanon more than $3More >>
Two New Hampshire communities damaged by storms are getting federal help.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:58 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:09:06 GMT
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro. The film is called "The Address". It follows the 50 boys at the Greenwood School in Putney who have learningMore >>
A Ken Burns documentary featuring Vermont students will have its premiere in Brattleboro.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:58 GMT
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself. Claremont police tell us that the man was cleaning his gun Saturday night when it went off. He was taken to the hospitalMore >>
New Hampshire police say a man is recovering after he accidentally shot himself.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:59 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:59:53 GMT
This towering ice fortress is dazzling visitors to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. "Yeah, this is a wow moment," says visitor Millie Gabriel. "It's an incredible feeling to see people really light upMore >>
If you're ready to see one more beautiful thing before we say hello to spring, then we've found the spot for you.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:53:41 GMT
When the Wild Center in Tupper Lake was looking at maple education programs, they hit a bit of a snag. "I took a survey of the 31 acres here at the museum and we only had one maple tree on the property,"More >>
The Community Maple program has been going for three years now, allowing people to take the sap from their backyard and learn how to turn it into syrup.
Sunday, March 9 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-03-09 13:44:12 GMT
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March! PANCAKE BREAKFAST This year is the 20th annual Franklin Fire Dept. Pancake breakfast at the Franklin Central School. They serve more than 2,000More >>
We've got some tasty ideas for this second Sunday in March!More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>