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Sequester’s effects impact College Park

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Published on: Tuesday, March 05, 2013

By Mary Faddoul

The sequester — a series of federal spending cuts over the next 10 years — will affect the nation as a whole and small cities, such as College Park.

The decade long plan to reduce spending by $1.2 trillion through federal cuts has caused skepticism across the country. Between March 1 and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 $85 billion will be cut.

In addition to job cuts, the budget for public schools and safety, both funded by Prince George’s County, will decrease by next year, said College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows.

However, College Park Director of Finance Stephen Groh does not expect the sequestration to affect the city because it does not receive funds from the federal government, except for the occasional grant.

The White House released estimates of the state-by-state impacts of sequestration. According to the report, Maryland will lose about $14.4 million in funding for primary and secondary schools, putting jobs at risk. And, around 770 fewer low income college students will receive financial aid to help them afford tuition. The state will lose about $317,000 in grants for public safety and law enforcement.

Maryland, which is dependent on federal and military spending, would have about 46,000 civilian Department of Defense employees furloughed, “reducing gross pay by around $353.7 million in total.”

Richard Zipper works in College Park and said, “It’ll affect this whole area because we’re so government and defense oriented.”

“The sequestration will affect me because I currently babysit for a couple, and when the sequestration goes through and furloughs are forced, I will lose my job because they won’t be able to afford me,” said University of Maryland student Anastasia Champ.

At the University of Maryland, President Wallace Loh sent an email to reassure students and faculty that he and elected officials will work “to keep tuition increase low; to fund salary merit increases that we have not had in four years; and to support expanded enrollments in science and engineering.”

A government and politics student at the University of Maryland, James Edwards, claimed, “That’s politics, which is unfortunate. It seems like a lot of the partisanship destroys the interests of the lower people. It’s a shame.”

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