"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, December 8 2013 2:00 PM EST2013-12-08 19:00:23 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:42 PM EST2013-12-08 18:42:20 GMT
Police in New Hampshire are investigating an accident on Interstate 89 that claimed two lives. It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon. The initial investigation revealedMore >>
It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon, N.H. Saturday.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:30 PM EST2013-12-08 18:30:52 GMT
Police say a couple tried to use a baby to smuggle drugs into jail. Police say the baby arrived the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, with 27-year-old David Willette of Bennington, for a scheduledMore >>
Police say a couple tried to use a baby to smuggle drugs into jail.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:25 PM EST2013-12-08 18:25:45 GMT
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg. Police say at about 8:40 p.m. Gerald Begin rolled his car on Route 5 and was thrown out of the vehicle. He was taken toMore >>
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Sunday, December 8 2013 1:21 PM EST2013-12-08 18:21:13 GMT
Talks next week in New York will try to determine how new state land in the central Adirondacks can be used. The Adirondack Park Agency is considering recommendations for the land in the towns of IndianMore >>
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Sunday, December 8 2013 1:18 PM EST2013-12-08 18:18:31 GMT
Competition could be fierce for new casino licenses in upstate New York. The licenses will be awarded next year after voters passed an amendment allowing Vegas-style casinos outside Indian land. FourMore >>
Competition could be fierce for new casino licenses in upstate New York.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:13 PM EST2013-12-08 18:13:03 GMT
If you're lucky, you may have seen a snowy owl in Vermont. Researchers say the birds are traveling even farther south than usual -- some even as far south as North Carolina. We spotted one Friday afternoonMore >>
Researchers say snowy owls are traveling even farther south than usual, and that means more sightings here in Vermont.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:12 PM EST2013-12-08 18:12:07 GMT
The sun is completing a "solar flip," and that means many people could have the best chance in a decade of seeing the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. NASA says every 11 years the sun's polar magneticMore >>
We check in on some of the week's big science stories, including why the Northern Lights may be more visible soon.More >>