Sequester consequences on South Jersey -

Sequester consequences on South Jersey

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The clock is ticking for lawmakers in Washington who have just hours to make a deal before mandatory federal spending cuts kick in, known as the sequester.

It's a deadline that's been on the calendar since July of 2011.  Eighty-five billion dollars in federal spending cuts for this fiscal year are set to kick in at midnight Friday.

Now many in South Jersey are wondering how it will affect them.

"Anything from the 177th, Hughes Technical Center. Obviously huge impacts in education both at the K–12 level and higher education," Economics Professor from Stockton College Dr. Oliver Cooke said.

The White House says New Jersey will lose nearly $12 million in K–12 funding. For seniors, programs like Meals on Wheels will take a hit: Four million fewer meals this year alone.

After military and civilian furloughs, experts say the ripple affects of a failed agreement could hurt.

"Huge impact this will have in the South Jersey economy. It's in a really fragile state right now of recovery just coming off the bottom frankly," Cooke added.

At the FAA Tech Center, officials say its unlikely anyone will be laid off. But furloughs could definitely be on tap for thousands.

"People have mortgages, bills and things to play so it's going to affect everyone," FAA employee Jim Snyder says.

"A lot of people are talking about it. People are worried. Very worried," said another FAA employee.

Officials from the FAA say employees would probably take a day off each pay period starting in April.

As for the Coast Guard, they will continue with essential operations but will cut many future capital improvement programs and discretionary spending.

While the deadline is Friday night, most people won't see immediate consequences.

"I think it slowly roles out, I think most Americans don't, outside of small corners, don't really begin to feel any of this, couple of weeks, maybe a month or more but as it begins to go down hill I think more and more people will feel the bite," Cooke said.

President Obama must sign these cuts into affect by 11:59 Friday if no deal is made.


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