How Does the Sequester Affect Highland Park?
The Deputy City Manager outlines the way that the federal government's $85 billion in spending cuts will affect the state of Illinois and, more specifically, the city of Highland Park.
The information below comes from the City of Highland Park in an email sent on March 1.
The White House has released a report stating that the Federal Government is about to impose spending cuts in excess of $85 billion as of March 3, 2013.
Also referred to as "the Sequester," these automatic, across-the-board cuts in spending were established by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress is said to be working diligently on finding a solution to reverse these cuts, however, an agreement involving both parties is yet to be completed.
Spending cuts are expected to affect many social service programs, including but not limited to educational programs, social services for children and seniors and public safety programs. Should the sequestration occur on March 3, several program cuts may affect residents and business owners in Highland Park. Some examples include:
- Cuts in excess of $500,000 in Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention, which assists Highland Park Police Officers in enforcement efforts.
- Reduction in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has provided grant funding to the City of Highland Park Public Works and Fire Departments.
- Reductions in Small Business Loan Guarantees of approximately $900 million.
- Funding cuts in excess of $600 million to the Federal Aviation Administration, affecting operations and staffing. These cuts could lead to reduction in air traffic and additional delays at the airport.
- Reductions in funding to the Department of Health and Human Services Child Care and Development Fund and related subsidies, leaving many children without daycare.
- Funding cuts in federally assisted programs for seniors, including the Meals on Wheels program.
Additional detail on items listed above and a comprehensive listing of the effects of these program cuts on Illinois can be found here:http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/sequester-factsheets/Illinois.pdf .
Residents in need of social programming in jeopardy are encouraged to reach out to local organizations to determine the effects on programs in place as well as possible alternatives. The Moraine Township provides services such as door to door transportation for seniors, disabled and low-income residents, scholarship support to local daycare and counseling centers and emergency aid for food, shelter and utilities. Additional information can be found at www.morainetownship.org or by calling the Township’s main office at (847) 432-3000.
The Illinois Department of Human Services offers many social service programs, including food, child care, housing, health and medical services. Additional information on their programming and possible cuts related to the sequestration can be found online at www.dhs.state.il.us or by calling (800) 843-6154.
The City of Highland Park does not anticipate any changes in programming for Youth and Senior Services relating to this federal government action. Specific questions regarding Youth or Senior Programming at the Firehouse Youth Center or Senior Center may be directed to Don Miner, Director of Youth and Senior Services, at (847) 926 -1861.
Ghida S. Neukirch, CM
Highland Park Deputy City Manager